MATTANAWCOOK ACADEMY STUDENT-ATHLETE NAMED GATORADE MAINE BOYS TRACK & FIELD PLAYER OF THE YEAR
CHICAGO (June 21, 2018) - In its 33rd year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Cayden Spencer-Thompson of Mattanawcook Academy as its 2017-18 Gatorade Maine Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Spencer-Thompson is the first Gatorade Maine Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Mattanawcook Academy.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track, distinguishes Spencer-Thompson as Maine's best high school boys track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in June, Spencer-Thompson joins an elite alumni association of state track & field award-winners, including Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt High School, Iowa), Allyson Felix (2002-03, Los Angeles Baptist High School, Calif.), Robert Griffin III (2006-07, Copperas Cove High School, Texas), Grant Fisher (2013-14 & 2014-15, Grand Blanc High School, Mich.) and Candace Hill (2014-15, Rockdale County High School, Ga.).
The 6-foot-3, 160-pound junior set two state records at the New England Championships this past season, soaring 24 feet, 1.75 inches to win the long jump and launching himself 48-3.75 to capture the triple jump. Spencer-Thompson also won the long jump at the Class C state meet with a meet-record 23-1.75 and captured the triple jump with a mark of 46-5.
Spencer-Thompson has volunteered locally on behalf of youth sports programs. "It's rather special what Cayden has accomplished," said Mattanawcook Academy coach Bernice Stockley. "We've got limited facilities for him-a makeshift runway, a dirt track-but he's self-motivated and naturally gifted. He set big goals of breaking state records, winning state championships and doing very well at the New England Championships and he accomplished all of them."
Spencer-Thompson has maintained a 3.30 GPA in the classroom. He will begin his senior year of high school 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 work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport. Spencer-Thompson joins recent Gatorade Maine Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year Jake Koffman (2016-17, Orono High School), Sam Rusak (2015-16, Scarborough High School), Isaiah Harris (2014-15, Lewiston High School), Daniel Curts (2013-14, Ellsworth High School), Jared Bell (2012-13, Deering High School), Matthew McClintock (2011-12, Madison Area Memorial High School), Jack Terwilliger (2010-11, Cheverus High School), Will Geoghegan (2009-10, Brunswick), Dan Smith (2008-09, Thornton Academy), David Slovenski (2007-08, Brunswick), and Miles Bartlett (2006-07, Lake Region) among the state's list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Spencer-Thompson will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants - one for each sport - will be announced throughout the year.
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