Union student-athlete named Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Track and Field Player of the Year
In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Jayden Rowe of Union High School is the 2021-22 Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Track and Field Player of the Year.
Rowe is the second Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Track and Field Player of the Year to be chosen from Union 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 field, distinguishes Rowe as Oklahoma’s best high school boys track and field athlete.
Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Track and Field Player of the Year award to be announced in July, Rowe joins an elite alumni association of state award winners in 12 sports, including Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt High School, Iowa), Allyson Felix (2002-03, Los Angeles Baptist High School, Calif.), Robert Griffin III (2006-07, Copperas Cove High School, Texas), Grant Fisher (2014-15 & 2013-14, Grand Blanc High School, Mich.) and Candace Hill (2014-15, Rockdale County High School, Ga.).
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior won two individual events and ran on two second-place relays at the Class 6A state meet this past season. Rowe broke the tape in the 100 in 10.60 seconds, also winning the 200 in 21.09. He ran the second leg on the runner-up 4x100 and 4x200 quartets.
Rowe has volunteered locally on behalf of youth track programs.
“Jayden stepped on the track this season with a mission—to leave as state champion in the 100 and the 200,” said Union High School coach Tim Dial. “He accomplished that goal with focus, work ethic and buying into the program we ran. I expect big things out of him in the coming years at OU, both on the football field and the track.”
Rowe has maintained a 3.07 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in football and track and field on scholarship at the University of Oklahoma 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 Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.
Rowe joins recent Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Track & Field Players of the Year Tevin Williams (2020-21, Stillwater High School), Bobby Wood (2019-20, Putnam City High School), J.T. McCloud (2018-19, Union High School), and Patrick Larrison (2017-18, Moore High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Gatorade has a long-standing history of serving athlete communities and understands how sports instill valuable lifelong skills on and off the field. Through Gatorade’s “Play it Forward” platform, Rowe has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national organization of their choosing that helps young athletes realize the benefits of playing sports.
Rowe is also eligible to submit a short video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.