AURORA | The final stretch of the track & field season for Blake Yount just gets better and better.
The recently graduated Smoky Hill star, who won the Class 5A state championship and set a Colorado prep record in the 800 meter run was named Colorado’s Gatorade Athlete of the Year for the 2015 boys track season.
The University of Oklahoma signee is headed out for a big race this weekend, as he will get a much-anticipated matchup with Cheyenne Mountain’s William Mayhew at the Brooks’ PR Invitational in Seattle. Mayhew set the state record in the 4A 800 meters at the state meet, only to see it topped by Yount minutes later.
“Blake set records whenever he ran this year,” Mullen head coach John Hancock said in a press release from Gatorade. “His run at state was an all-time best in Colorado, and he was willing to do whatever his team needed. He really puts everything into a run. If I were a college recruiter, I’d have to have him. I coached Charlie Gruber, who was a 2004 Olympian in the mile, and Blake really reminds me of him with his mental toughness.”
With his time of 1 minute, 50.59 seconds in the 5A final, Yount set the Colorado record and bested the time of 1:50.74 Mayhew posted to win the 4A state race.
Yount set the 800 meter state record on three occasions in the past year, including once earlier this season.
The 1:51.20 Yount dropped on May 2 at the Cherry Creek/Grandview Invitational bested the time of 1:51.63 he ran nearly a year earlier on the same Stutler Bowl track to set the state record for the first time.
At the state meet, Yount placed sixth in the 400 meter dash and also combined with fellow seniors Dominique Carrasco and Kevin Del Mazo and junior Tahir Hopkins in Smoky Hill’s 4×400 meter relay that finished second as well as the 4×800 meter relay, which came in fifth.
Since Gatorade began annually recognizing an athlete of the year in the District of Columbia and 50 states each year in boys track and field, four other Aurora athletes have earned the honor.
Yount becomes the third Smoky Hill winner, joining Brent Vaughn and Ryan Deak, who received the nod in 2003 and 2004, respectively.
Aurora Central pole vaulter Pat Manson won Colorado’s first Gatorade award in 1986, while Overland sprint star Jeremy Rankin was Aurora’s most recent winner as he took home the distinction in 2007.
Cherry Creek’s Jordyn Colter, who set the Colorado girls 800 meter record, received the Gatorade Colorado award for girls track.
Yount is also the second Aurora athletes to be recognized by Gatorade in the 2014-15 athletic season, following Grandview’s Michaela Onyenwere, who was tabbed Colorado’s Player of the Year in girls basketball.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel