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: Rilwan Alowonle
School: Park (Cottage Grove, Minn.)
Weight: 145 pounds
Athletic achievement: Alowonle won individual state titles in the 110-meters hurdles with a time of 14.04 seconds, the 300-meter hurdles in 36.59, the triple jump with a leap of 47 feet, 11 inches and ran the second leg of the first-place 4x100-meter relay this spring, leading the Wolfpack to a second place finish as a team at the Class AA state meet. A two-time First Team All-State honoree, his season-best time at the state meet broke a 25-year-old state record in the 300 hurdles, and he also set a state record in the 110 hurdles with a time of 13.88 at the state meet preliminary race. His top mark in the 300 hurdles ranked as the nation’s No. 5 time among prep competitors in 2012 at the time of his selection.
Academic excellence: Alowonle has maintained a 4.20 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A devoted member of his church community, he has volunteered locally on behalf of his school’s Link Crew program, mentoring and tutoring incoming freshman students.
“Rilwan Alowonle is a peerless track and field athlete,” said Jim Scott, head coach at Woodbury (Minn.). “Just when you think he is going to get tired, he flies by guys like they are standing still. It was truly an honor to watch him compete over the years and see the development in his speed and athleticism.”
THE FUTURE: Alowonle has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on an athletic scholarship at the University of North Carolina this fall.