CHICAGO (June 19, 2014) — In its 29th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Parker English of Evanston Township High School as its 2013-14 Gatorade Illinois Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. English is the third Gatorade Illinois Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Evanston Township High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track, distinguishes English as Illinois’s best high school girls track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in June, English joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Allyson Felix (2001-02, Los Angeles Baptist, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.), Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt HS, Ia.) and Bianca Knight (2006-07, Ridgeland HS, Miss.).
The 5-foot-7 senior won the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.33 seconds and the 400-meter run in 53.88 at the Class 3A state championship meet this spring, leading the Wildkits to a fourth-place finish as a team. English also finished third in the 100-meter dash, while her season-best time of 53.80 seconds in the 400 ranked as the nation’s No. 10 performance among prep competitors in 2014 at the time of her selection. English has maintained a 3.42 GPA in the classroom. A devoted member of her church community, she has volunteered locally as a tutor and a Vacation Bible School counselor.
“Parker is right up there with the best we’ve ever had,” said Evanston Township head coach Fenton Gunter. “The talent was always there for her, and she came in this year and did her job.”
English has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at the University of Notre Dame this fall.
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 & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, 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.
English joins recent Gatorade Illinois Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year Emmonnie Henderson (2012-13, Edwardsville High School), Aaliyah Brown (2011-12, Lincoln-Way East High School), Jena Hemann (2010 – 11, Central Community High School), Kelsey Card (2009-10, Carlinville), Daniella Bunch (2008–09 & 2007-08, Mahomet-Seymour), and Egle Staisiunaite (2006-2007, Downers Grove South) among the state’s list of former award winners.