Joey Czellecz of Kelly Walsh Repeats As Gatorade Boys Track and Field Player Of The Year
In its 29th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, announced Joey Czellecz of Kelly Walsh High School as its 2013-14 Gatorade Wyoming Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year.
Czellecz is the second Gatorade Wyoming Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Kelly Walsh 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 Czellecz as Wyoming’s best high school boys track & field athlete.
Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in June, Czellecz 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 5-foot-11, 155-pound senior hurdler won two individual state championships this spring and led the Trojans to a second-place finish at the Class 4A state meet.
Czellecz took gold in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.59 seconds and set a state record in the 300-meter hurdles in 37.04, the latter of which ranked as the nation’s No. 19 performance among prep competitors in 2014 at the time of his selection.
The state’s returning Gatorade Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year, he also won the 110-hurdles (14.49) and the 300 hurdles (38.06) at the Class 4A West Regionals.
Czellecz has maintained a 3.23 GPA in the classroom.
A member of the National Honor Society, he has participated in multiple service-mission trips in association with his church in addition to volunteering locally as a vacation bible school counselor and youth track coach.
“Joey Czellecz is a leader on and off the track,” said Kelly Walsh High head coach Mark Hileman. “It is an honor to watch him compete. He is a humble athlete and a terrific teammate.”
Czellecz has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on an athletic scholarship at Weber 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.
Two-time winner Czellecz joins Gatorade Wyoming Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Kevin Allen (2011-12, Upton High School), Justin Melton (2010 – 11, Douglas High School), Caleb Her Many Horses (2009-10, Wyoming Indian), Dominick Robinson (2008–09, Campbell County), Stephen Michel (2007-08, Laramie), and Brendan Ames (2006-2007, Cheyenne Central) among the state’s list of former award winners.