North Carolina High School Athletic Association

Apex High School Standout Named Gatorade North Carolina Girls Track & Field Athlete Of The Year

     CHICAGO — In its 29th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, has announced Sydnei Murphy of Apex High School as its 2013-14 Gatorade North Carolina Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Murphy is the first Gatorade North Carolina Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Apex High School.

     The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track, distinguishes Murphy as North Carolina’s best high school girls track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in June, Murphy joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Allyson Felix (2001-02, Los Angeles Baptist, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.), Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt HS, Ia.) and Bianca Knight (2006-07, Ridgeland HS, Miss.).

     The 5-foot-4 junior soared 19 feet, 5.25 inches to win the long jump and leaped 39-7.5 to capture the triple jump at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 4-A championship meet this spring. Murphy also finished second in the triple jump and third in the long jump at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor championship. Her season-best effort of 41-7.25 in the triple jump ranked as the nation’s No. 3 distance among prep competitors in 2014 at the time of her selection.

     Murphy has maintained a weighted 4.37 GPA in the classroom. A devoted member of her church community and a math tutor in her school, she has volunteered locally on behalf of Habitat for Humanity and youth sports programs.

     “Sydnei is one of the hardest working athletes that we have had in our program in the past 30 years,” said Apex coach Roy Cooper. “This year she was willing to add the triple jump as one of her events, and she broke the school record on her first attempt and ultimately won the state championship.”

     Murphy will begin her senior year of high school this fall.

     The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

     Murphy joins recent Gatorade North Carolina Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year Wesley Frazier (2012-13 & 2011- 12, Ravenscroft School), Kendra Harrison (2010 – 11, Clayton High School), Sanura Eley O'Reilly (2009-10, Jack Britt), Aslynn Halvorson (2008–09, Butler), Jacinda Evans (2007-08, Southern), and Gabby Mayo (2006-2007, Southeast Raleigh Magnet) among the state’s list of former award winners.

     To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit