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Green named Gatorade Athlete of the Year

Green prepares to throw discus at a meet earlier this year.

Former Colleton County High School Track Team athlete Jalacy Green has been named as the 2011-12 Gatorade South Carolina Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year.This is the 27th year the Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPNHS, has been recognizing our country’s finest high school athletes. Green is the first student from CCHS to be bestowed with the award.

The award weighs not just an athlete’s performance within his or her field, but also academic performance and character both on and off the playing field. Green maintained a 3.46 grade-point average through her four years at CCHS, and she has volunteered within the community as a certified nursing assistant. Green has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field team events under a scholarship at Coastal Carolina University this fall.

By winning this award Green is now a contender for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year award, which will be announced later this month. By winning this award, Green joins an elite number of previous award winners, such as Allyson Felix, Derek Jeter, Candace Parker, Abby Wambach, Mark Sanchez, Lolo Jones, and Bianca Knight.

Green won both the shot put and discus at the Class AAAA State Track Meet this spring, helping the team to finish in ninth place. Green, who was also the recipient of this year’s High School Sports Report AAAA Female Athlete of the Year, took first in the shot put with a throw of 42 feet, nine inches, and the discus with a throw of 128 feet, four inches. At the qualifiers for this event, Green threw the shot put 43 feet, five inches.

George Smith, Green’s coach during her four-year participation in the CCHS track program, said he is very proud of Green’s continuing success. “This is a very big deal, and it’s a special honor to have one of my athletes to win an award such as this. Jalacy worked hard for four years, and this award is a reward for all of her hard work during these years,” he said.

Other coaches in South Carolina have also praised Green’s athletic endeavors. “Jalacy Green is one of the best high school throwers ever in South Carolina,” said Glover Smiley, head coach of CCHS rival Sapartanburg High School. “Jalacy is a very hard working, determined, and dedicated track student athlete. Her record in track and field attests to her discipline, self motivation, and dedication to her sport.”

“The Gatorade Player of the Year program recognizes one winner within 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, boy’s and girls’ soccer, baseball, and softball, and boys’ and girls’ track and field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the ESPNHS, and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which works with the top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished veteran prep sports journalism to determine state winners in each sport,” a Gatorade Company news release stated.