TATUM NAMED GATORADE NEW MEXICO GIRLS TRACK & FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
CHICAGO (June 20, 2019) — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Adriana Tatum of Sandia High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade New Mexico Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Tatum is the second Gatorade New Mexico Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Sandia 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 Tatum as New Mexico’s best high school girls track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in June, Tatum 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 sophomore swept the 100- and 200-meter dash events at the 5A state meet while also running legs for the winning 4×100 and 4×200 relay quartets to help the Matadors to second place as a team. At the time of her selection, her personal-best 100 dash clocking of 11.58 seconds to cross the line fourth at the Great Southwest Classic ranked No. 15 nationally among prep competitors in the event in 2019. Her PR of 23.83 to capture gold in the 200 at the Great Southwest Classic was tied for No. 35 in the country. Her time of 11.69 in the 100 at the state meet broke the state record held since 1988 by two-time Olympic heptathlete Shelia Burrell. Running the final leg for the 4×100 and 4×200 foursomes at states, Tatum helped both squads set state records, anchoring the former in 41.06 and the latter in 1:41.11. The Albuquerque Journal Female Track Athlete of the Year, she will enter her junior year as a seven-time state champion across multiple track events.
A multi-sport athlete who helped Sandia to the 5A volleyball state final last fall, Tatum helps organize and officiate middle school school meets, and has also served as a volunteer coach for her younger sister’s volleyball team. A devotee to the art of ceramics, she has also donated her time as a peer tutor and helped run a charitable donation drive in association with her team. “Adriana has single-handedly elevated her team into a force to be reckoned with in the state of New Mexico,” said Adam Kedge, the boys head coach at Albuquerque Academy. “Her performances at the state meet brought out the best in both her teammates and the 5A competition. Only a sophomore, she will continue to elevate the sprint events in New Mexico for years to come.”
Tatum has maintained a weighted 4.2 GPA in the classroom. She will begin her junior 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. 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.
Tatum joins recent Gatorade New Mexico Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year Haley Rizek (2017-18 & 2016-17, St. Pius X High School), Jennifer Ramirez (2015-16, Onate High School), Natasha Bernal (2014-15, La Cueva High School) and Lauren Martinez (2013-14, Eldorado High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Tatum also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. She 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.
press release courtesy of Gatorade