A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2012 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
For his 50 fellow Gatorade State Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Ronnie Baker
School: Ballard (Louisville, Ky.)
Weight: 160 pounds
Athletic achievement: The state's returning Gatorade Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year, Baker won the 100-meter dash and the 400-meter dash at the Class 3A state meet this spring and led the Bruins to third place as a team. He won the 100 with a time of 10.65 seconds and the 400 in 47.18, the latter of which ranked as the No. 24 performance in the nation by prep competitors in 2012 at the time of his selection. The 2012 Class AAA Track Athlete of the Year, he is one of just two boys in the country ranked among the national top 50 in the 100, 200 and 400.
Academic excellence: Baker has maintained a 3.54 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A member of the Ballard High Beta Club, he has volunteered locally at an area homeless shelter and food bank, as a peer tutor and as part of a fundraising campaign to benefit the March of Dimes.
“Ronnie Baker has dominated Kentucky track over the last few years,” said Chris Hawboldt, head coach of Tates Creek (Lexington, Ky.). “He is an outstanding sprinter.”
THE FUTURE: Baker has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at Texas Christian University beginning this fall.