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Avery Lewis '24 Named Gatorade PA Girls' Track & Field Player of the Year

In its 39th year of honoring the nation’s most elite high school athletes, on June 25, Gatorade announced Avery Lewis '24 as the 2023-2024 Gatorade Pennsylvania Girls' Track & Field Player of the Year. Avery is the first Gatorade Pennsylvania Girls' Track & Field Player of the Year to be chosen from Friends' Central School. 

The award, which celebrates the nation’s top high school athletes for excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community, distinguishes Avery as Pennsylvania’s best high school girls track & field athlete. From CEOs and coaches to star athletes, Gatorade Player of the Year winners showcase the power of sport, touting an all-star group of alumni that includes Sanya Richards-Ross (2001-2002, St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Fla), Sydney McLaughlin (2016-2017, 2015-2016 & 2014-2015, Union Catholic High School, N.J.) and Angelina Napoleon (2022-2023, Allegany-Limestone Central School, N.Y.). 

The returning Gatorade State Track and Field Player of the Year, the 5-foot-10 senior sprinter/jumper broke two all-conditions state records and won four gold medals at the state meet this past season, leading the Phoenix to a second-place team finish at the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association Championships. A three-time Penn Relays champion in the long jump, Avery broke the state record in the event at the USATF U20 Championships, soaring 20 feet, 8 inches to finish fourth. She also broke the all-conditions state record in the 100-meter dash at the Mt. SAC Relays, breaking the tape in a wind-aided 11.21 seconds. Her 100 clocking of 11.51 at the USATF U20s earned her a gold medal. She captured gold medals at the PAISAA Championships in both the 200, breaking the tape in 24.08 and by anchoring the 4x400 relay quartet, which clocked a 3:51.43. 

Avery has volunteered locally at Baring House, a non-profit organization that focuses on assisting young children in crisis. She has also participated in the Black Student Forum, an affinity group that focuses on the state of Black people on her campus, around the country, and around the world. “While limited to competing in the independent school championships during the PA postseason, Avery dazzled again this spring to cap one of the greatest prep careers authored by a Keystone State athlete,” said Rich Gonzalez, editor of PrepCalTrack.com. “Recording the fastest all-conditions 100-meter time in state history this spring, she owns the state’s best performance in that event and as well as the long jump (set in 2023). Of historical import, she finishes as the lone Pennsylvania athlete to rank among the top three in history in three state meet events: the 100, 200 and the long jump.” 

Avery has maintained a 3.20 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on scholarship at the University of Southern California 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 Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport. 

Two-time winner Avery joins recent Gatorade Pennsylvania Girls Track & Field Players of the Year Laila Campbell (2021-22, Spring Grove Area High School), Ashlyn Giles (2020-21, Schuylkill Valley High School) and Marlee Starliper (2019-20, Northern High School), among the state’s list of former award winners. 

As part of Gatorade’s commitment to breaking down barriers in sport, every Player of the Year also receives a grant to donate to a social impact partner. To date, the Gatorade Player of the Year program has provided more than $4.9 million in grants to winners across more than 1,900 organizations. 

To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or follow the program on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, and Instagram at instagram.com/Gatorade. 

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