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: Dondre Echols
School: Potomac (Oxon Hill, Md.)
Weight: 170 pounds
Athletic achievement: Echols won the 110-meter hurdles with a state-record time of 13.59 seconds and the 300-meter hurdles in a state-record 36.26 at the Class 3A state meet this spring, leading the Wolverines to the state title as a team. The Washington Post All-Met Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year, he ran the second leg of the 4x100-meter relay squad that broke the tape in a state-record 41.08, and he placed second in the 100-meter dash in 10.62. His 110 hurdles time at the state meet and 300 hurdles time of 13.56 at the USA Track & Field Junior Outdoor Championships each ranked among the nation’s top five performances by prep competitors in 2012 at the time of his selection.
Academic excellence: Also a football standout, Darby has maintained a B average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: In addition to regularly donating his time as a youth track and football instructor, he has volunteered on behalf of the Special Olympics and as a peer science tutor.
“From the day I met Dondre as a bean-pole freshman, I knew that he was destined for hurdle greatness,” said Potomac head coach Fatumatu Abbas. “In the subsequent years, I watched Dondre grow into his body and grow into a fine young scholar-athlete. I do not think I have met any other athlete with the level of commitment and dedication that Dondre displays on the track.”
THE FUTURE: Echols has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on an athletic scholarship at the University of South Carolina this fall.