Gatorade named Northern Arizona commit Nico Young the National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year, just a few months after being honored as the 2019-20 National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year in February.
Young, who was surprised by his family, teammates and coaches after practice, is only the second student-athlete in the program’s 35-year history to ever win two Gatorade National Player of the Year awards in the same year.
He beat out more than 600,000 other student-athletes competing in the Boys Track & Field and topped 51 state winners. The list included 37 who volunteered for two or more organizations, 18 with GPAs of 3.8 or higher and eight with All-American honors. The Newbury Park High School (Calif.) alum joins an impressive group of previous winners who has a combined 22 gold medals and 12 National Championships.
Young, winner of the Nike Cross Nationals Final in December, won the 2019 outdoor track championship in the 3,200 meters. He ends his prep career on a high note despite the COVID-19 global pandemic cutting his senior season short, finishing No. 1 in prep history in the indoor 3,000 meters, No. 4 all-time in the outdoor 5,000 meters and No. 8 in the 3,200 meters.
Outside of the sport, the high school graduate volunteered over the past three summers as a part of the Team Leadership program at Camp Many Mansions, which is a seven-week residential enrichment opportunity for youth from under-resourced communities. He maintained a weighted 4.68 GPA, and signed a National Letter of Intent to run on scholarship at Northern Arizona University.
Young is now a finalist for the Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year, which is announced in July.