Kasen Williams is named Gatorade’s top track athlete

June 24, 2011

By Bob Taylor

NEW — 11:45 a.m. June 24, 2011

Hopefully recent Skyline High School graduate Kasen Williams will have enough room on his trophy case for yet another award. Williams earned another honor Thursday when he was selected as the Gatorade Washington Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year.

In its 26th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Co., in collaboration with ESPN RISE, said in a release that Williams is the first Gatorade Washington Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Skyline.

The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track. Williams is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year.

At the Class 4A state meet last month, when Skyline finished fifth, Williams won the triple jump with a leap of 50 feet, 9 1/4 inches, which ranked third in the nation. He captured the long jump with a 24-5 1/4 effort. He also won the high jump by clearing 6-10. He ranked among the nation’s top 20 in the long jump and high jump.

Williams has maintained a 3.1 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally as a peer tutor and as a youth sports coach and referee.

This is the second time this school year that Williams had been honored by Gatorade. Last fall, Williams was selected as the 2010-11 Gatorade Washington Football Player of the Year as a wide receiver and safety.

“I was surprised to see the kind of athleticism and raw jumping ability in a young man of Kasen’s size,” said Bryan Clay, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon, who has coached Williams. “What’s even rarer is that in an age of specialization, this young man has achieved All-American status and consideration in two very demanding sports. His accomplishments speak for themselves.”

Williams has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on an athletic scholarship at the University of Washington beginning this fall, where he will play football and suit up for the track and field team.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track and field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Earlier this year, Williams was selected as Parade Magazine’s National Football Player of the Year. He has also received numerous all-state awards from newspapers, and was selected to the 4A All-KingCo Conference football team last fall and was the offensive player of the year for the Crest Division. During the winter he was earned all-KingCo first-team honors in basketball.

Lakeside Recovery baseball earns tourney win

The Lakeside Recovery Senior American Legion baseball team split a pair of games Thursday at the Palouse Summer Series in Pullman. Lakeside lost to Rips Brewers 11-6 but bounced back to defeat the Seattle Stars Gold team 9-4.

In the contest with the Seattle Stars Gold, Newport’s Dan Altchech had four hits and Issaquah’s Brandon Mahovlich had two hits. The victory put Lakeside Recovery’s record at 14-8. Lakeside Recovery is scheduled to play the Lewis-Clark Titans on Friday and the Taylor Baseball Club on Saturday.

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