Hailey Williams of Delta Junction High School was named the 2018-19 Gatorade Alaska Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year on Thursday. Williams is the first Gatorade Alaska Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Delta Junction High School.
The award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track. The honor makes Williams a finalist for the Gatorade National Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in June. Williams joins an elite alumni association of state track and field award-winners, including Lolo Jones, Allyson Felix, Robert Griffin III, Grant Fisher and Candace Hill.
The 5-foot-4 junior won three individual events at the Division 2 state championship meet this past season. Williams broke the tape in the 100-meter dash in 12.45 seconds while capturing the 200 in 25.06 and the 400 in 58.10. She has won seven career state titles. Williams has volunteered locally on behalf of community clean-up initiatives and youth sports programs.
“Hailey Williams is an exceptional athlete who is goal-oriented and strives to be the best she can be every time she competes,” said Delta Junction coach Tara Owen. “Her dedication, hard work and enthusiasm are an inspiration to all athletes.”
The incoming senior has maintained an A average in the classroom.
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. Of the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Williams joins recent Gatorade Alaska Girls Track and Field Athletes of the Year Emma Nelson (2017-18, Chugiak High School), Izabelle Ith (2016-17, Petersburg High School), Tanner Ealum (2015-16, Anchorage Christian High School) and Allie Ostrander (2014-15 and 2013-14, Kenai Central High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform, “Play it Forward,” Williams also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. She is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of 12 $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
Contact News-Miner sports writer Laura Stickells at 459-7530. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMSports.