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: Justin Fondren
School: Oxford (Miss.)
Athletic achievement: Fondren won the high jump at the Class 5A state championship meet for the third time, soaring 7 feet and leading the Chargers to a fourth-place finish as a team. The state-record holder in the high jump, he also took the bronze medal at the World Youth Championships in 2011 and his season-best clearance of 7 feet, 0.25 inches ranked as the nation’s No. 4 jump among prep competitors in 2012 at the time of his selection.
Academic excellence: Fondren has maintained a B average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: Also a talented musician, he has volunteered locally on behalf of youth basketball camps.
“Justin has been the best high school high jumper in the country for over two years,” said Oxford head coach Scott Kendricks. “He’s set a high standard for behavior, leadership and competitiveness for his teammates to follow.”
THE FUTURE: Fondren has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at the University of Alabama this fall.