In its 38th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced that Avery Lewis '24 is the 2022-23 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 recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Avery as Pennsylvania’s best high school girls track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Player of the Year award to be announced in July, Avery joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Jasmine Moore (2018-19, Lake Ridge High School, Texas), Sydney McLaughlin (2016-17, 2015-16 & 2014-15, Union Catholic High School, N.J.), and Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt High School, Iowa).
The 5-foot-9 Friends' Central rising senior won three state championships this past season, leading the Phoenix to a third-place finish at the state meet. Avery went on to set the state outdoor long jump record with her leap of 20 feet, 9.5 inches at New Balance Nationals Outdoor, which ranked No. 3 leap by a prep girl in 2023. a
Avery also captured the long jump at the 2023 Penn Relays (20-4.5) and won the indoor NBNO title in the event. She set the state record in winning the state indoor title in the 60-meter dash in 7.22 seconds ranked No. 3 in the country this winter, and she enters her senior year as a combined five-time All-American in those two events.
Avery has donated her time working with peers on important school initiatives and by mentoring youth track athletes. She is also a devoted parishioner of her church community. “Avery Lewis has made a habit throughout her high school career of rising to the occasion with the most significant performances in the biggest moments, and this year was no exception,” said Erik Boal, editor at DyeStat.com. “Lewis won the 100, 200 and long jump at the Pennsylvania Independent School Athletic Association state meet, then earned All-America honors in all three events at New Balance Nationals, capped by sweep of both outdoor and indoor long jump national titles.”
Avery has maintained a 3.25 weighted GPA in the classroom. She will begin her senior year at Friends' Central 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.
Avery joins recent Gatorade Pennsylvania Girls Track & Field Players of the Year Laila Campbell (2021-22, Spring Grove Area High School), Ashlyn Giles (2020-2021, Schuylkill Valley High School), Marlee Starliper (2019-2020, Northern High School), and Skylar Ciccolini (2018-2019, Mifflin County High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Being a Gatorade Player of the Year means paying it forward for the next generation. Through Gatorade’s Play it Forward initiative, every Player of the Year receives a grant to give to one of Gatorade’s social impact partners, supporting Gatorade’s ambition to fuel the future of sport. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.
For nearly 40 years, Gatorade has honored high school athletes at the top of their game as teammates, supporting their communities and achieving academic success. From CEOs and coaches to star athletes and community leaders, Gatorade Player of the Year winners showcase the power of sport.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student- athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com.