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Cherryville High School Star Named Gatorade North Carolina Boys Track and Field Athlete of 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 Trentavis Friday of Cherryville High School as its 2013-14 Gatorade North Carolina Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Friday is the first Gatorade North Carolina Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Cherryville 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 Friday as North Carolina’s best high school boys track & field athlete. Friday joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Ryan Hall (1999- 01, Big Bear HS, Calif.), Meb Keflezighi (1993-94, San Diego HS, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.) and Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt HS, Ia.).

     The 6-foot-2, 165-pound senior won three individual state championships and anchored the winning 4×400-meter relay quartet at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Class 1-A state meet this spring, leading the Ironmen to a second-place finish as a team. Friday took gold in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.59 seconds, the 200-meter dash in 20.95 and the 400-meter run in 47.87. The New Balance Nationals Indoor champion and the NBN meet indoor record-holder in both the 60 and 200, he also captured the 200-meter crown at this month’s New Balance Nationals Outdoor championships. Friday’s season-bests of 10.17 in the 100 and 20.33 in the 200 both rank as the nation’s No. 1 performances among prep competitors in 2014 at the time of his selection.

     Friday has maintained a B average in the classroom. In addition to serving on the Cherryville High school yearbook and school newspaper staffs, he has volunteered locally for two years on behalf of the First Wesleyan Church’s feed-the-homeless initiative. He has also donated his time as part of his school’s morning-announcements team and has worked with special needs students at the Webb Street School.

     “He’s worked hard and stayed healthy, and he’s just a special runner,” said Cherryville head coach Keith Fox. “He can do anything. He could go out and run a 1:54 in the 800 if we wanted him to. He put in a lot of time in the offseason, worked in the weight room. We knew he was capable of a season like this.”

     Friday has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at Florida State University 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.

     Friday joins recent Gatorade North Carolina Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year John Crossley (2012-13, West Carteret High School), Craig Engels (2011-12, Ronald Reagan High School), Eric Winfrey (2010 – 11, Douglas Byrd High School), Isaac Presson (2009-10, Asheville), Wayne Davis (2008–09, Southeast Raleigh), Dylan Ferris (2007-08, East Forsyth), and Johnny Dutch (2006-2007, Clayton) 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 www.gatorade.com/poy.