CLEVELAND’S LUKE WYSONG NAMED GATORADE NEW MEXICO BOYS TRACK & FIELD PLAYER OF THE YEAR
In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Luke Wysong of Cleveland High School as its 2020-21 Gatorade New Mexico Boys Track & Field Player of the Year. Wysong is the second Gatorade New Mexico Boys Track & Field Player of the Year to be chosen from Cleveland 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 field, distinguishes Wysong as New Mexico’s best high school boys track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Player of the Year award to be announced in July, Wysong joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, 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-10, 185-pound senior set personal-best marks in four individual events and shared in a Class 5A-record relay clocking to help the Storm with the state team title. The state’s reigning Gatorade Football Player of the Year, Wysong won the 100- and 200-meter dash and took second in the long jump as well as the 400—the latter by a margin of 0.02 seconds. At the time of his selection, his runner-up leap of 23 feet, 2.25 inches in the long jump, which eclipsed the prior state class record, ranked No. 136 among 2021 prep competitors across the country. His wind-aided time of 10.55 seconds in the 100 was the fastest all-conditions clocking in the state this spring and ranked No. 139 nationally. Wysong ran the second leg on Cleveland’s 4×100-meter relay foursome that broke the tape in a record-setting 41.88, which ranks as the No. 5 all-class time in state history, according to MileSplit.com. He concluded his prep career ranked in the Top 30 of three events (all conditions) in New Mexico high school history, including No. 10 in the long jump, No. 11 in the 100 and No. 28 in the 400, according to MileSplit.com.
A Rio Rancho Fire Department and Police Department Youth Volunteer, Wysong has donated his time locally as part of food-donation drives and he has volunteered on behalf of multiple community service initiatives through his church youth group. “Luke is, without question, a talented athlete and possesses a great deal of physical ability, but his work ethic and willingness to prepare is second to none,” said Cleveland High head coach Kenny Henry. “I have been around many great athletes, but Luke Wysong is the greatest competitor there is.”
Wysong has maintained a 3.24 weighted GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play football on scholarship this fall at the University of New Mexico, where he also hopes to compete in track and field.
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 works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Wysong joins recent Gatorade New Mexico Boys Track & Field Players of the Year Teagun Glenn (2019-20, Albuquerque Academy), Jonah Vigil (2018-19, Taos High School), Jericho Cleveland (2017-18, Volcano Vista High School), and Jackson Morris (2016-17, Albuquerque Academy), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Wysong has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing. Wysong is also eligible to submit a 30-second video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $2.7 million across 1,117 organizations.