(Editor's note: Gatorade media release)
CHICAGO — In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade on Thursday announced Kensey May of Missoula Hellgate High School is the 2021-22 Gatorade Montana Girls Track & Field Player of the Year.
May is the second Gatorade Montana Girls Track & Field Player of the Year to be chosen from Hellgate 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 May as Montana’s best high school girls track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Player of the Year award to be announced in July, May 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 state’s two-time Gatorade Cross Country Player of the Year, the 5-foot-8 senior won the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs at the Class AA state meet this past season, leading the Knights to a third-place finish as a team. May broke the tape first in her two-mile heat at the Nike Outdoor Nationals, crossing the line in 10:24.27, which ranked No. 25 nationally among prep girls competitors in 2022 at the time of her selection.
May has volunteered locally with the Special Olympics and she has donated her time as part of multiple community service initiatives through her school’s National Honor Society.
“Kensey took a big leap this year by realizing that she can dominate a race from the front,” said Jeff Dohn, head coach of Hellgate High School. “She used to lay back and go with the pack and then finish hard. And when I say dominate, she decided to control races and crush the competition.”
May has maintained a 3.92 in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on an athletic scholarship at Syracuse 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 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. May joins recent Gatorade Montana Girls Track & Field Players of the Year Klaire Kovatch (2020-21, Seeley-Swan High School), Angellica Street (2019-20 & 2018-19, Columbia Falls High School), and Camila Noe (2017-18, Bozeman High School), among the state’s list of former award winners