Dracut's Shepard is Gatorade track POY

Today, Gatorade named Dracut High junior Karina Shepard as its 2013 Massachusetts girls' track and field Player of the Year.

Here's more from today's press release:

The 5-foot-10 junior won the 800-meter run with a time of 2:09.29 at the All-State meet this season. Shepard also anchored the third-place 4x800-meter relay quartet that crossed the line in 9:25.51. At the Division II East championships, Shepard took first in the 800-meter run in 2:11.33 and anchored the winning 4x800-meter relay squad that broke the tape in 9:35.00. Her second-place 800-meter run time of 2:08.05 at the New England championships ranked No. 9 among U.S. prep competitors in 2013 at the time of her selection.

Shepard has maintained a 4.53 weighted GPA in the classroom. A member of the National Honor Society, she has volunteered locally on behalf of her church, the BayState Marathon and as a youth track instructor.

“Karina’s understanding of what it takes to achieve a high level of success is what distinguishes her from the competition,” said Dracut head coach Erik Taber. “Two years ago, she would have never believed that she could have achieved what she has. She has worked incredibly hard to work her way from the bottom of a varsity lineup to All-State champion in just two years. After all of her success, she still believes she is capable of more.”