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: Nick Hartle
School: Centennial (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Weight: 140 pounds
Athletic achievement: A two-time Gatorade Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year and the returning Gatorade Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year, Hartle won four individual state championships this spring and led the Bulldogs to a Class 4A state championship. Over two days, he won the 400-meter dash with a time of 47.79 seconds, the 800 meters in 1:52.53, the 1,600 in 4:18.03 and the 3,200 in 9:28.27. Hartle set a state record in the 800 at the Great Southwest Classic with a time of 1:49.48, which ranked No. 6 nationally among prep competitors in 2012 at the time of his selection. He also owns the state records in the 1,600 (4:10.23) and as a member of Centennial’s 4x800-meter relay and distance medley relay teams.
Academic excellence: Hartle has maintained a 3.98 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally on behalf of a charity thrift store and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and as a youth track coach.
“Nick had an amazing year, from posting national class victories with his relay teammates at California's two biggest invitationals to putting together a state meet quadruple for the ages to lead Centennial to the 4A title,” said Steve Underwood, senior editor for ESPNHS DyeStat. “Nick may have better 400 speed than any distance runner in the country.”
THE FUTURE: Hartle has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at UCLA beginning this fall.