Two University of Georgia track and field commits have been announced as winners of the 2018-2019 Gatorade Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
Matthew Boling and Jasmine Moore, who will begin their careers in Athens this fall, were announced as winners Thursday.
The athletes are now among a list of elite high school athletes such as Peyton Manning, Abby Wambach and Karl-Anthony Towns.
“Honestly, it really hasn’t hit me yet,” Moore said. “I was looking at the trophy and just seeing all the other names of people who have won this award. For my name to be on there is kind of crazy.”
Moore, a senior from Lake Ridge High School in Mansfield, Texas, was the Texas 2017-2018 Gatorade State Girls track and field Athlete of the Year prior to being named this year’s national winner.
Moore won the Texas Class 6A long jump and triple jump this past season.
Her 20-7 inches in the long jump was the third-ranked in the nation this year, and her 44 feet, 10 inches in the triple jump was the nation’s No. 1 performance among prep competitions this year.
Moore has volunteered locally with an animal shelter, playground restoration effort and Mission Arlington, a Texas-based religious mission program.
Boling, a senior from Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston, went viral after running a 9.98-second 100m this April — the fastest all-conditions time ever by an American high school athlete.
“It feels great. At the beginning of the year, I looked up to everybody who won it,” Boling said. “As the year progressed, I knew it could become a reality.”
This season, Boling set a personal best long jump of 26-3.5 inches. The leap ranked No. 2 in the nation this season and is eight in American prep history.
Outside of athletics, Boling has served as a counselor at a camp for children with disabilities, and he has volunteered locally with Athletes Taking Action, donation drives and hurricane relief efforts.
“I’ve worked hard in the classroom, and I’ve done a lot of service. It’s nice that Gatorade recognizes that,” Boling said.
Both athletes have signed letters of intent to compete in track and field at Georgia starting this fall, and they both mentioned the small team size and camaraderie within the Georgia track and field team as reasons for signing.
“The team isn’t huge, but everyone on the team is amazing in their event.” Moore, who had been visiting Georgia since her sophomore year, said.
Boling is an impressive addition to a men’s team that finished fourth at this year’s NCAA Outdoor Championships, and Moore is an exciting commitment to women’s team that is showing promise for next season.
Both athletes were impressed with head coach Petros Kyprianou in different ways, showing his dynamism as a recruiter. Boling mentioned the Kyprianou’s matter-of-fact way of speaking, and Moore was appreciative of his dedication to the team and to his players.
“He’s all into wanting to be the best,” Moore said. “And, I think he really cares about us as people, not just athletes. I feel like that’s kind of hard to find now days in NCAA.”