Kalispell’s Annie Hill was named the 2016-17 Gatorade Montana Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year, becoming the first female track athlete from Glacier High School to earn the prestigious honor.
The 5-foot-2 distance runner recently concluded her junior year by capturing three state titles at the Class AA championship track and field meet. Shewon the 800-meter run in 2:09.27, the 1,600-meter run in 4:54.61 and the 3,200-meter run in 10:46.10. The state’s 2015-16 Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, her winning time of 4:47.30 in the 1,600 at the Archie Roe Invitational in Kalispell ranked as the nation’s No. 11 performance among prep competitors in 2017. At the state meet she helped lead the Wolfpack to a second-place finish as a team.
Last weekend she placed fourth in the girls mile race at the elite Brooks PR Invitational Meet in Seattle.
The Gatorade award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence and high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character and distinguishes Hill as Montana’s best high school girls track & field athlete. She is the first female track winner from Kalispell since Flathead’s Zoe Nelson in 2005.
“Annie Hill is one of the premier track and field athletes from Montana,” said Arie Grey, head coach at Butte High. “The range that she has is truly remarkable. She had a very special year and is a true representative of Montana Track and Field. She is a special athlete and a lot of fun to watch.”
An accomplished pianist and violinist, Hill is a member of the National Honor Society and has volunteered locally on behalf of the Boys and Girls Club of America.
Hill has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. She will begin her senior year of high school this fall.
Gatorade also announced that Dawson LaRance of Billings Senior High School won the Montana boys award. The 6-foot, 150-pound senior distance runner captured a pair of individual titles and shared in a third at the Class AA state meet this spring, leading the Broncs to a second-place finish as a team. LaRance won the 800-meter run with a time of 1:50.22 and the 1600 in 4:15.51 before anchoring the winning 4×400 relay medley quartet, breaking the tape in 3:18.01. LaRance also took silver in the 800 at the Arcadia Invitational with a time of 1:51.59. His 800 clocking at the state meet ranked as the nation’s No. 6 performance among prep competitors in 2017 at the time of his selection.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Hill joins recent Gatorade Montana Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year Christina Aragon (2015-16 & 2014-15, Billings Senior High School), Erika McLeod (2013-14, Butte High School), Morgan Sulser (2012-13, Billings Senior High School), Danielle Aragon (2011-12 & 2010–11, Billings Senior High School), Kellee Glaus (2009-10, Whitehall High School), Alexa Aragon (2008–09, Billings Senior High School), Melissa Jenkins (2007-08, Big Sky High School), and Marissa Tschida (2006-07, Loyola Sacred Heart High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.