Kyle Durham of Weddington High School has earned the honor of being named the 2018-2019 Gatorade North Carolina Track and Field Athlete of the Year. The title of Athlete of the Year is awarded based on a dedication to academic and athletic excellence as well as extraordinary character on the track and in everyday life.
Between the study required to maintain his 3.34 GPA, his volunteer work with Samaritan’s Purse and his practice to maintain his reputation as a talented musician, Durham somehow found time to dominate the 800 meter run in the NCHSAA 3A state meet and break the state meet record. Through his tremendous 1:51.72 time in the 800 meter run, his second place finish in the 1600 meter run and his performance in the lead leg of his school’s first place 4×400 relay win, Durham led the Weddington men’s track and field team to their third consecutive state championship title.
Weddington coach Rick Spencer said that Durham has “more range than any other athlete that he has coached.” According to coach Spencer, Durham excels at 800 meters but can hold his own from 400 meters all the way up to the 5K. Durham’s biggest contribution, however, coach Spencer said, is the example that he sets for his teammates through his contagious work ethic and the legacy that he has left behind.
Gatorade’s “play it forward” program allows for Durham to award a grant of $1000 to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. Player of the Year recipients are also eligible to enter an essay for a chance to award a $10,000 grant to the sports organization of their choice.
Durham has signed a National Letter of Intent, complete with scholarship, to compete as part of North Carolina State University’s track and field team. His college career will begin this Fall.
For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program or to nominate athletes for next year’s selection, visit www.gatorade.com/poy.