Leah Scott of Dutchtown named 2017-18 Gatorade Louisiana Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year

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CHICAGO — In its 33rd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Leah Scott of Dutchtown High School as its 2017-18 Gatorade Louisiana Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Scott is the first Gatorade Louisiana Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Dutchtown 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 Scott as Louisiana’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, Scott joins an elite alumni association of state track & field award-winners, including Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt High School, Iowa), Allyson Felix (2002-03, Los Angeles Baptist High School, Calif.), Robert Griffin III (2006-07, Copperas Cove High School, Texas), Grant Fisher (2013-14 & 2014-15, Grand Blanc High School, Mich.) and Candace Hill (2014-15, Rockdale County High School, Ga.).

An eight-time state champion and four-time runner-up, the 5-foot-5 senior won both the long jump and the triple jump at the Class 5A state meet, helping the Griffins finish 7th as a team. Scott soared 18-6 in the long jump (her career-best is a foot further) and launched herself a personal-best 40-1.25 in the triple, which was the best effort by a prep girl in Louisiana this spring and ranked as the nation’s No. 47 wind-legal leap in 2018. She triple-jumped an indoor personal-best 38-5 to take silver at the New Balance Nationals Indoor in March.

Scott has volunteered on behalf of the United Fellowship and Grace Community churches, the Red Cross, the Special Olympics and Holiday Helpers. She has also served as an assistant both a the Kleinpeter Veterinary Clinic and has participated in a Certified Nursing Assistant training program. “One of the most consistent performers in Louisiana history, Scott achieved a career goal by finally surpassing 40 feet in the triple jump, challenging a 21-year-old state record in the process,” said Erik Boal, editor for Dyestat.com. “She rebounded from a runner-up finish in the triple jump at the indoor state meet to sweep both titles outdoors and conclude her career with eight individual championships.”

Scott has maintained a 3.99 weighted GPA in the classroom and remains undecided on a collegiate destination.

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 Player of the Year Selection Committee, 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.

Scott joins recent Gatorade Louisiana Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year Kyah Loyd (2016-17, C.E. Byrd High School), Janie O’Connor (2015-16, Zachary High School), Hannah Jackson (2014-15, Sulphur High School), Mikiah Brisco (2013-14 & 2012-13, Baton Rouge Magnet High School), Marcquita Stalbert (2011-12, McDonogh 35 College Preparatory High School), Morgann LeLeux (2010–11, Catholic High School), Merritt Van Meter (2009-10, Metairie Park Country Day School), Kim Francis (2008–09, Northside High School), and Rachel Laurent (2007-08 & 2006-07, Vandebilt Catholic High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Scott will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.

To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit www.gatorade.com/poy

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