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In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Yvonne Stinson of Alamogordo High School is the 2021-22 Gatorade New Mexico Girls Track & Field Player of the Year. Stinson is the first Gatorade New Mexico Girls Track & Field Player of the Year to be chosen from Alamogordo 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 Stinson as New Mexico’s best high school girls track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Player of the Year award to be announced in July, Stinson 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 (2014-15 & 2013-14, Grand Blanc High School, Mich.) and Candace Hill (2014-15, Rockdale County High School, Ga.).

The 5-foot-4 junior exploded for 38 individual points at the Class 5A state meet this past season, capturing three championships and taking second in the long jump to lead the Tigers to their second consecutive state team title. Stinson set a personal-best this spring in each of her four signature events, clearing 5 feet, 8 inches in the high jump, soaring 18-9 in the long jump, clocking a time of of 24.88 seconds in the 200-meter dash and breaking the tape in the 100 prelims at states in 11.91. At the time of her selection, the three-time state champion’s best high jump clearance was ranked as the nation’s No. 40 (tie) performance among prep girls competitors this spring.

Stinson has been an active parishioner of her local church community and takes on many of the household responsibilities for her family, especially helping to care for her younger step siblings, since both of her parents are active-duty military. “In her last season competing in New Mexico [due to her parents’ recent military transfer], Yvonne has progressed from a state-meet podium contender to a nationally ranked athlete,” said Jaren Brooks, MileSplit New Mexico editor. “A three-event state champion in New Mexico’s largest classification this spring, she has made enormous advancements in the high jump to land her among the Top 40 prep girls in the country in 2022.

Stinson has maintained a 3.29 weighted GPA in the classroom. She will begin her 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 leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.

Stinson joins recent Gatorade New Mexico Girls Track & Field Players of the Year Ku’upualiliapihamekealoha “Lia” Pili (2020-21, Centennial High School), Adriana Tatum (2019-20 & 2018-19, Sandia High School), and Haley Rizek (2017-18, St. Pius X High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.

Gatorade has a long-standing history of serving athlete communities and understands how sports instill valuable lifelong skills on and off the field. Through Gatorade’s “Play it Forward” platform, Stinson has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national organization of their choosing that helps young athletes realize the benefits of playing sports. Stinson is also eligible to submit a short 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 $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.

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