Athletes of the Year New Jersey

Updated: May 13, 2009, 12:41 PM ET
ESPN RISE Magazine

BOYS' ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

MICHAEL GILCHRIST
St. Patrick / Basketball
Gilchrist may be just a sophomore, but he played beyond his years this season. The 6-foot-7 forward was the top player for St. Patrick, leading the Celtics to the Tournament of Champions title and the No. 3 ranking in the ESPN RISE FAB 50. Gilchrist averaged 14.8 points per game, and he was great on the defensive end as well, grabbing 8.3 rebounds and blocking 3.0 shots per game. He is the top player in the Class of 2011, rated No. 1 in the ESPNU Terrific 25, and he was selected as the Gatorade State Player of the Year.

OTHER FINALISTS

ANDREW CAMPOLATTANO
Bound Brook / Wrestling
Campolattano went undefeated this year and won the state title at 189 pounds, and the sophomore has yet to lose in his high school career. He went 46-0 this season, making him 89-0 with two state championships in his two years.

RAFAEL DIAZ
Morris Hills / Soccer
Diaz was the top goalkeeper in the state this season. The senior allowed just seven goals and posted 15 shutouts while leading Morris Hills to a 17-2 record, earning Gatorade State Player of the Year honors.

NICK VENA
Morristown / Track
It seems like Vena breaks another record every time he throws. Just a sophomore, the 6-foot-4 shot put specialist is one of the country's brightest up-and-coming stars.

GIRLS' ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

LAURIN MINCY
University / Basketball
Mincy can do it all on the court, and the junior guard proved it again this season by averaging an astonishing 18.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 2.1 steals per game. Her all-around assault overwhelmed opponents and powered University to a 20-5 record. Mincy was the Newark Star- Ledger Player of the Year as a freshman and sophomore, and she added the Gatorade State Player of the Year award this season. She's been a first team All-State selection in each of her three years.

OTHER FINALISTS

SARAH BAYERSDORFER
Morristown-Beard / Ice Hockey
Bayersdorfer was the most dangerous offensive player in New Jersey this season, as the sophomore forward led the state with 37 goals and 49 points. She has scored 61 goals in her high school career.

ARIEL SCOTT
Immaculate Heart / Volleyball
The junior middle blocker led the Eagles to a 28-1 record and victory at the Tournament of Champions. Scott had a .475 hitting percentage and 366 total kills (6.1 per game), earning Gatorade State Player of the Year honors.

MELANIE THOMPSON
Voorhees / Track & Cross Country
Thompson finished first at the cross country Meet of Champions in the fall and helped Voorhees win the team title. The Oregon signee also won the 3,200 indoor title this winter, and she's the defending outdoor 3,200 champ.