A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2012 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
For his 50 fellow Gatorade State Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Brock Baker
School: Oakland (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
Weight: 148 pounds
Athletic achievement: Baker won the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:15.10 and the 3,200-meter run in 9:18.20 at the Class 3A state meet this spring and led the Patriots to a ninth-place finish as a team. A 2012 New Balance Indoor All-American selection, he placed fifth in the 2-mile at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor championships with a time of 9:00.22, which ranked No. 6 in the nation among prep competitors in 2012 at the time of his selection. Baker also ranked in the Top 25 nationally with his season-best performances in the mile, 3,000 and 3,200.
Academic excellence: Baker has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom and ranks No. 1 in his graduating class.
Exemplary character: A soloist in the Oakland Chamber Choir, he helped found the non-profit Sustaining A Village Everyday, which raised $29,000 to provide food and clean water to a village in Haiti. He has volunteered locally with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“Brock Baker is so determined and focused that he won’t allow boundaries to get in his way to stop him from accomplishing greatness,” said Phil Young, head coach at rival Siegel (Murfreesboro, Tenn.). “He always works to overtake his limitations. He is very talented, however his work ethic and discipline are nothing short of extraordinary for a 17-year-old.”
THE FUTURE: Baker will begin his senior year of high school this fall.