CHICAGO (June 21, 2018) - In its 33rd year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Marcellus Moore of Plainfield North High School as its 2017-18 Gatorade Illinois Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Moore is the first Gatorade Illinois Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Plainfield North High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track, distinguishes Moore as Illinois's best high school boys track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in June, Moore joins an elite alumni association of state track & field award-winners, including Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt High School, Iowa), Allyson Felix (2002-03, Los Angeles Baptist High School, Calif.), Robert Griffin III (2006-07, Copperas Cove High School, Texas), Grant Fisher (2013-14 & 2014-15, Grand Blanc High School, Mich.) and Candace Hill (2014-15, Rockdale County High School, Ga.).
The 5-foot-7, 155-pound sophomore won two individual events and anchored two winning relays at the Class 3A state meet this past season, leading the Tigers to third place as a team. Moore captured the 100-meter dash with a state record time of 10.31 seconds, which ranked as the nation's No. 5 performance among prep competitors in 2018 at the time of his selection. He also won the 200-meter dash in 21.30 and anchored the 4x100 and 4x200 relay quartets. Moore took sixth in the 100 at June's USATF Junior Outdoor Championships.
A devoted member of his church community, Moore has volunteered locally on behalf of Feed My Starving Children, Cradles to Crayons and a youth football program. "Marcellus Moore is a sprint phenom and he's still only 15 years old," said Plainfield North coach Tony Holler. "He's humble and he always puts the team first. Despite being a young sophomore, he's already serving as our team captain."
Moore joins recent Gatorade Illinois Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year Cameron Ruiz (2016-17, Lakes Community High School), Sean Torpy (2015-16, Sandburg High School), Ja'Mari Ward (2014-15 & 2013-14, Cahokia High School), Kyle Landon (2012-13, Chester High School), Carl Heinz (2011-12, Oak Park-River Forest High School), Zach Ziemek (2010-11, Lake Park High School), Logan Pflibsen (2009-10, Streator Township), Dan Block (2008-09, Lake Park), Mat Smoody (2007-08, Palatine), and Evan Jager (2006-07, Jacobs) among the state's list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Moore will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants - one for each sport - will be announced throughout the year.