In its 26th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, announced Justin Melton of Douglas High School as its 2010-11 Gatorade Wyoming Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Melton is the first Gatorade Wyoming Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Douglas 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 Melton 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, Melton 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 senior sprinter and jumper won three individual state championships this spring and led the Bearcats to second place at the Class 4A state meet as a team.

Melton broke the tape in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.76 seconds, the 200-meter dash in 21.86 and the 400-meter dash in 50.72.

A 2011 Milward Simpson Athlete of the Year finalist, he did not lose an in-state race in the 100 or 200 during the 2011 outdoor season.
Melton has maintained a 3.55 GPA in the classroom. An elected member of his school’s student council, he has volunteered locally as a peer leader and as a youth football coach and official.

“I can’t say enough about what Justin Melton has meant to our team, our school and to track and field in Wyoming,” said Douglas High head coach Wes Gamble. “He was dealing with a kidney stone at the state meet and was on his way to the hospital and he turned the car around and came back because he didn’t want to let his teammates down. He turned in a truly heroic performance.”

Melton has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on a football scholarship at Chadron 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 ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, 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.

Melton joins recent Gatorade Wyoming Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year Caleb Her Many Horses (2009-10, Wyoming Indian), Dominick Robinson (2008-09, Campbell County), and Stephen Michel (2007-08, Laramie) among the state’s list of former award winners.