High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Millard South

Nebraska Girls Track AOY: Clara Nichols

June, 20, 2012
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: Clara Nichols


School: Millard South (Omaha, Neb.)
Grade: Senior
Event(s): Sprints
Height: 5-foot-7


Athletic achievement: Nichols won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.96 seconds, the 200-meter dash in 24.66 and the 400-meter dash in 55.29 at the Class A state meet this spring. A 2012 First Team All-State selection, she was the fastest Nebraska competitor and earned second place in the 400 with a time of 56.07 at the Kansas Relays. Her 400 clocking at the state meet ranked as the nation’s No. 66 time by a prep competitor at the time of her selection.

Academic excellence: Nichols has maintained a 3.82 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: An active member of the French, Math and Science Clubs, she is a staff writer for her school newspaper and has volunteered locally on behalf of an anti-bullying program and as a youth track and field coach.

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The window on the Gatorade State Softball Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Alicia Armstrong
Senior Shortstop, Beatrice High (Beatrice, NE)

2012 Team record: 25-7
2012 Team standing: Lost in Class B state final

2012 Batting average: .690
2012 RBI: 27
2012 Runs: 46

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Nebraska

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Captain of Super-State team; First Team All-Nebraska; Set state records for batting average in a season and career.

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