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Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Rhode Island Girls Track AOY: Maddy Berkson

By Ben Rohrbach

A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Girls 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 her 50 fellow Gatorade State Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year winners, click here.


THE WINNER: Maddy Berkson

THE BASICS

School: Classical (Providence, R.I.)
Grade: Sophomore
Event(s): Distance/middle-distance
Height: 5-foot-4

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Berkson set a state record in the 1,500 meters at the All-State meet, leading the Purple to a third-place finish as a team. She won the 1,500 with a time of 4:27.92, a time which ranked No. 13 in the nation by prep competitors in 2012 at the time of her selection. Berkson also ran the anchor leg for Classical’s winning 4x400-meter relay team. The Rhode Island Track Coaches Association State MVP, she placed second in the 800-meter run at both the All-State Meet and the New England Outdoor Championships.

Academic excellence: Berkson has maintained an unweighted 4.12 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: She is a member of Classical High’s Debate Club and Chess Club.

THE PRAISE

“The hard thing to remember about Maddy Berkson is that she is still only a sophomore,” said Steve Turgeon, head coach at rival Barrington (R.I.). “Her state record in the 1,500 was probably most impressive. She broke a record that seemed untouchable.”

THE FUTURE: Berkson will begin her junior year of high school this fall.