The Gatorade Company has named Michaela Reinhart ’17 as its 2016-17 Gatorade Kentucky Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Reinhart is the first to be chosen from Lexington Catholic High School in Gatorade’s 32nd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes.
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 Reinhart as Kentucky’s best high school girl’s track & field athlete. She is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year award which will be announced in June.
As a senior the 5-foot-3 Reinhart won the 1,600-meter run and the 3,200-meter run at the Class 2A state meet this past season, leading the Knights to a 10th-place finish as a team. Reinhart’s time of 10:35.36 in the 3200 beat her next-closest competitor by 51.24 seconds, and she was first across all classifications by 24.87 seconds. Her 3200 time of 10:17.71 at the Arcadia Invitational in April is a state record and ranked as the nation’s No. 16 performance among prep competitors this spring at the time of her selection. She is also ranked in the top 50 nationally in the mile (4:55.37).
As president of the student council Reinhart volunteered locally as a youth track and field coach. Reinhart maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom and graduated as valedictorian. She signed a national letter of intent to compete on an athletic scholarship at Duke University 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. As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Michaela will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.