L-W East student athlete named Illinois Track & Field Athlete of the Year Friday, June 29, 2012
A student athlete from Lincoln-Way East High School has been singled out for her impact in the 2012 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
Aaliyah Brown, who led the Griffins to a fourth-place finish at the Class 3A state championship this spring by winning the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.18, was named the 2012 Gatorade Illinois Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year.
"Aaliyah is not afraid to set her goals high, because she knows that she has what it takes to achieve them," said Lincoln-Way East coach Caroline Gerritsen. "She is very mature for her age and motivates her teammates more than I have ever seen anyone do."
Aaliyah is the third Lincoln-Way student athlete to be recognized by the Gatorade Company. In December, quarterback Blake Winkler was named the 2011-12 Gatorade Illinois Football Player of the Year. In 2001, Lincoln-Way Central soccer player Ned Grabavoy was named National Soccer Player of the Year.
Ned went on to attend Indiana University and is currently a professional soccer player for Real Salt Lake. Blake, who graduated from Lincoln-Way East in June, signed a National Letter of Intent with Illinois State University and plans to study renewable energy/business.
Aaliyah, who just completed her junior year at Lincoln-Way East, will return for her senior year in the fall.
All three students were nominated for the Gatorade Company honors by their coaches.
"We are fortunate to have such athletes with us," stated Dr. Scott Tingley, principal at Lincoln-Way East. "Aaliyah works very hard to excel at an incredible level. She's quite an athlete."
This is the 27th year the Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPNHS, has honored a high school athlete from each state. The program recognizes one winner from each state as well as the District of Columbia that sanction high school girls and boys track and field, football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball and softball.
In addition to winning the 200-meter dash this past spring, Aaliyah took second in the 100-meter dash and anchored the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays to runner-up finishes. She also broke the tape in the 100 and 200 at the Arcadia Invitational in California and finished second in the Adidas Dream 100 with a time of 11.44 seconds, which ranked as the nation's No. 4 time among prep competitors in 2012 at the time of her selection.
She did all that while maintaining a 3.32 GPA in the classroom.