Two University of Georgia track and field commits, Matthew Boling and Jasmine Moore, attended the 17th annual Gatorade Athlete of the Year awards on Tuesday, in Los Angeles, California.
Last month, Boling and Moore were named as the Male and Female Gatorade Track and Field Athletes of the Year, which put them in contention for the overall award.
Neither Boling nor Moore were awarded the overall Gatorade Athlete of the Year Award, but winning the national prize in one’s sport is still an impressive achievement.
The event on Tuesday was attended by several notable current and retired professional athletes like Karl-Anthony Towns and Peyton Manning.
Former Georgia running backs Todd Gurley and Sony Michel were in attendance. Michel, who was named the 2013-2014 Gatorade Florida Football Player of the Year, said the award is special.
“It represents the hard work they put on and off the field, court, whatever it may be,” Michel said at the event. “It represents who they are as a person, their competitiveness, how they serve, how they treat others, how they carry themselves. I think that is what’s most important.”
Jasmine Moore was able to encapsulate the feeling of a recent high school graduate being able to brush shoulders with some of the nation’s best athletes.
“I’m just really excited. I’m just really blessed to be here,” Moore said. “I asked if I was allowed to take pictures and they said not right now, but I’ll get them later.”
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 in the sport.
Moore won the Texas Class 6A long jump and triple jump this past season.
Her 20 foot, 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.
Boling, a 6-foot, 162-pound senior from Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston, Texas, won the 100-meter dash at the Class 6A state meet this past season with a time of 10.13 seconds.
Boling became a viral sensation for his final leg of the state champion 4x400 meter relay team with a 44.75-second split to make up a 30-meter deficit.
Boling also gained widespread recognition after running a 9.98-second 100m this April — the fastest all-conditions time ever by an American high school athlete.
“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 were impressed with head coach Petros Kyprianou, showing his dynamism as a recruiter. Boling mentioned Kyprianou’s matter-of-fact way of speaking, and Moore was appreciative of his dedication to the team and to his players.
“I believe [this is] one of the only few times in history that a program has two incoming freshmen that win National Gatorade Athlete of the Year,” head coach Kyprianou said. “It is a true testament of Matthew and Jasmine’s work ethic, character and consistency to be able to bring in that kind of hardware.”