TAOS SPEEDSTER NAMED GATORADE NEW MEXICO BOYS TRACK & FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
CHICAGO (June 24, 2019) — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Jonah Vigil of Taos High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade New Mexico Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Vigil is the first Gatorade New Mexico Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Taos High 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 track, distinguishes Vigil as New Mexico’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, Vigil 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 5-foot-8, 145-pound senior swept the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dash events at the 4A state meet, helping the Tigers to a fourth-place finish as a team. His winning time in the 100 was a personal-best 10.51 seconds, which ranked No. 34 in the nation among prep competitors in 2019 at the time of his selection. Vigil clocked another PR to capture silver in the 400 at the prestigious Great Southwest Classic, crossing the line in 46.43 to record the nation’s No. 4 time this spring. An eight-time individual event champion, he graduates as the state all-class record-holder in the 400.
An avid angler who enjoys camping and hiking, Vigil has volunteered locally on behalf of Taos Feeds Taos as well as the town’s First Responders Appreciation Luncheon. A student ambassador and student council participant at his school, he has also donated his time to High Altitude Athletics, a youth gymnastics program. “Jonah Vigil is plenty deserving of this recognition,” said Erik Boal, editor for Dyestat.com. “He PR’d by over a half-second in the 400 to finish second at Great Southwest. He’s won eight individual state titles and shared in four championship-winning relay quartets.”
Vigil has maintained a weighted 3.5 GPA in the classroom and has signed a national letter of intent to compete on an athletic scholarship at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo., beginning 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. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Vigil joins recent Gatorade New Mexico Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year Jericho Cleveland (2017-18, Volcano Vista High School), Jackson Morris (2016-17 & 2014-15, Albuquerque Academy), Alejandro Goldston (2015-16, Volcano Vista High School) and Mike Budick (2013-14, Volcano Vista High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Vigil also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
*Release courtesy Gatorade