The 2021-22 Gatorade Wyoming Girls Track and Field Player of the Year is Kate Brigham from Jackson Hole High School.

Brigham earns her second Gatorade Award this year and is the second winner from Jackson.

In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company announced Brigham’s award on Thursday in a press release. 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 Brigham as Wyoming’s best high school girls track and field athlete.

The 5-foot-11 senior won the Class 4A 800 and 1600-meter runs for the second straight year at the state track championships. Brigham also ran the anchor leg on Jackson’s state-winning sprint medley relay (4:16.35). Her performance helped Jackson place eighth in the team standings. Brigham finished seventh in the 800 at the Arcadia Invitational, clocking a state-best time of 2:11.99.

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Brigham is now a finalist for the Gatorade National Girls Track and Field Player of the Year award that will be announced next month.

The Jackson senior maintained a B average in the classroom. She has signed to run on scholarship this fall at the University of Colorado. Brigham was the founding member of the Walk or Dance Club, which provides a welcoming environment to new students at Jackson Hole High School. She has also volunteered locally as part of community beautification projects and at area ski races.

In the release from Gatorade, Jackson head coach Bill Wiley explained how Brigham’s success blossomed over time.

“Different runners mature at different rates, and for Kate, last spring everything came together for her. As she experienced success in competition, the frustration that came from her lack of self-confidence disappeared. With this new confidence, she became dominant on the track.”

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 works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Brigham has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing that helps young athletes realize the benefits of playing sports. Brigham 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 has totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.

Brigham joins Lauryn Love of Campbell County (2020-21), Sydney Thorvaldson from Rawlins (2019-20 & 2018-19), and Cheyenne Central’s Aubrey Frentheway (2017-18) as recent Gatorade Wyoming Girls Track and Field Player of the Year award winners.

*Information from a press release by The Gatorade Company was used in this story.

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