Flathead’s Perrin Named Gatorade Montana Track Athlete of the Year

Gatorade award recognizes athletic and academic achievement

By Beacon Staff

Zach Perrin, a standout distance runner at Flathead High School, has been named the Gatorade Montana Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year. The award, which recognizes athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character, distinguishes Perrin as the state’s best track athlete this year.

As a junior this spring, Perrin won Class AA state titles in the 1,600 and 3,200. His winning times in both races were the fastest in the state all season. He clocked 4:17.18 to win the 1,600 and 9:20.84 in the 3,200.The Braves placed third as a team at the state championship meet. Perrin also competed at the prestigious Arcadia Invitational, where he placed eighth in the 3,200 (8:55.24), earning the fastest time ever recorded by a Montana runner.

Perrin has maintained a 3.0 GPA in the classroom. He also volunteers at his church and as coach for the Highlander youth track program.

“Zach Perrin is a fierce competitor with a tireless work ethic as a runner,” Flathead boys track coach Dan Hodge said in a statement from Gatorade. “He has run some of the fastest times in the history of the state and he is only getting better.”

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in all 50 states. Perrin will now join other athletes who are nominated for National Player of the Year. The selection process is administered by ESPNHS and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board to determine the state winners in each sport.

Perrin joins recent Gatorade honorees from Montana Scotty Koehler-Owens (2009-10 and 2010-11, Billings Senior High School), Chris Wilson (2008-09, C.M. Russell) and Josh Pelczar (2007-08, Billings West).

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