Langston set a new state record in the 100m at the 2019 KHSAA State Track and Field Championships
HENRY CLAY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT-ATHLETE NAMED GATORADE KENTUCKY BOYS TRACK & FIELD PLAYER 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 Langston Jackson of Henry Clay High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Kentucky Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Jackson is the first Gatorade Kentucky Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Henry Clay 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 Jackson as Kentucky'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, Jackson 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-9, 175-pound senior set state records in the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash at the Class AAA state meet this past season, leading the Blue Devils to a fourth-place finish as a team. Jackson's personal-best 100 time of 10.23 seconds ranked No. 3 in the nation among prep competitors in 2019 at the time of his selection. His 200 time of 20.73, also a PR, ranked No. 7 in the country. Jackson, who won the 100 dash at the prestigious Brooks PR Invitational, also ran the anchor leg at the state meet for Henry Clay's winning 4x100 and 4x200 relay quartets.
Jackson has volunteered locally at Eastern State Hospital in Lexington, and has donated his time as a youth mentor and football coach. "In a word, Langston is incredible," said Chris Verhoven, head coach of Danville High. "As I watched him destroy state records in the 100 and 200 I thought to myself, 'I just watched a kid who one day will represent the United States in the Olympics.'"
Jackson has maintained a weighted 4.26 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a national letter of intent to compete on an athletic scholarship at the University of Kentucky 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. Jackson joins recent Gatorade Kentucky Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year Bryan Hudson (2017-18, Scott County High School), Isaiah McCall (2016-17, Bryan Station High School), William Allen (2015-16, Paul Dunbar High School), Jaron Brooks (2014-15, Henry Clay High School) and Landon Young (2013-14, Lafayette High School) among the state's list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade's cause marketing platform "Play it Forward," Jackson 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.
Since the program's inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.