Haley Pierce -Delaware Girls Gatorade T&F Athlete of the Year



   Contact:  Lauren Rollins (312-729-3607)                                                                                                                                     


The Tatnall School STANDOUT NAMED


CHICAGO (June 21, 2011) — In its 26th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced Haley Pierce of The Tatnall School as its 2010-11 Gatorade Delaware Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year.  Pierce is the second Gatorade Delaware Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from The Tatnall 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 Pierce as Delaware’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, Pierce joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Allyson Felix (2001-02, Los Angeles Baptist, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.), Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt HS, Ia.) and Bianca Knight (2006-07, Ridgeland HS, Miss.).


The 5-foot-7 junior won two individual state championships this spring and led the Hornets to a fifth consecutive Division II state title as a team. A two-time Gatorade Delaware Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Pierce won the 1600-meter run with a time of 4:51.66 and captured the 3200-meter run in 10:37.94. She anchored the winning 4x800-meter relay quartet that clocked a 9:42.18. At the Meet of Champions, Pierce also broke the tape in the 3200-meter run (10:22.91) and ran the third leg on the winning 4x400-meter relay that finished in 3:58.18. Her fastest performances at 1-mile (4:45.72), 1600 meters (4:41.19), 3,000 meters (9:16.35) and 3200 meters (10:22.91) all ranked among the nation’s top-20 performances among prep competitors in 2011 at the time of her selection. She owns three individual state records and two relay records. She placed seventh in the 5,000-meter run in 17:18.63 at this month’s New Balance Outdoor Nationals.


Pierce has maintained a 3.73 GPA in the classroom. A member of her school’s environmental club, she has volunteered on behalf of her church’s youth group as well as the Sunday Breakfast Mission for the homeless.


“She had the finest season of any runner in the history of the state,” said Tatnall School Head Coach Pat Castagno. “She set four state records. She ranked No. 1 in the United States in the 3200 and No. 2 in the 1600 at the time she ran them. She continues to be a tremendous example for the rest of the girls in our program and helps them reach for bigger things. She’s adopted a level of discipline that opened doors to a greater level of competition.”


Pierce 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 ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.


Piercejoins recent Gatorade Delaware Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year Celina Emerson (2009-10, Delcastle Technical), Juliet Bottorff (2008-09, The Tatnall School), and Brieanna Kennedy (2007-08, Caravel Academy) among the state’s list of former award winners.


To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners, and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com.