Gibbs (St. Petersburg, Fla.) sprinter Trayvon Bromell can run 100 meters in less than 10 seconds, but it took longer than that for him to comprehend the surprise news he received today. Bromell was named the 2012-13 Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year.
“I’ve got a lot of trophies, but I’ve never won one like this,” said Bromell, a Baylor signee. “I didn’t see this coming. This is going right in my dorm room next year. I hear RG3 won Gatorade’s Texas track and field award in high school. Well, now I’ve got something to show him that might impress him.”
The 5-foot-9, 157-pound senior won the 100-meter dash at the Great Southwest Classic earlier this month with a time of 9.99 seconds, the first all-conditions 100 clocking under 10.0 in U.S. prep history. Bromell also won a national title at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor in June, breaking the tape in 10.41. He took silver in the 200 at NBN with a time of 20.91. His winning time of 10.27 in the 100 at the Golden South Classic ranked as the nation’s No. 1 wind-legal performance among prep competitors in 2013. At the Class 3A state championship meet, he won the 100 in 10.45, then anchored the Gladiators’ winning 4x100 relay quartet (42.26).
The Gatorade Player of the Year award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence as well as high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the oval. Bromell is now a finalist for the Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award. USA TODAY High School Sports administrates the nationwide selection process in collaboration with Gatorade.
“Trayvon Bromell’s athletic accomplishments are truly impressive,” said Sarah Gearhart, a prep track and field reporter for USA TODAY High School Sports. “His record-setting performances, not only for the season but also in prep history, are further evidence of why he’s deserving of this national honor. His dedication isn’t limited to just focusing on himself on the track, either. He’s a well-rounded individual whose intent is to do nothing but excel.”
Bromell’s 9.99 is second-fastest time ever recorded at the junior level (Mark Lewis-Francisof Great Britain ran the 100 in 9.97 in 2001). At the time of his selection, only 20 other sprinters in the world, at any level, had run under 10 seconds this year. Bromell also won the 100 at last week’s USA Junior Outdoor Championships in 10.47 running into a strong headwind. His fastest wind-legal 100 this season ranks No. 23 in prep history. He ran the nation’s No. 8 time in the 200 in 2013 among high school competitors.
Bromell has maintained a B average in the classroom. A member of his school’s Born Eagles peer-leadership program, he has volunteered on behalf of the Boys & Girls Club of the Suncoast’s Royal Theater location in addition to donating his time as a Lightning Bolt Track Club instructor. He also works as a retail clerk at the Tyrone Square Mall.
Bromell becomes the second boys track athlete from Florida to win national Gatorade honors, joining former Seminole (Sanford, Fla.) standout and seven-time collegiate All-American jumper Andre Scott (1993-94), now the jumps coach at Southern Illinois University.
Florida has produced the third-most national winners (20) in the award program’s 28-year history. California is first with 60 followed by Texas (27).