CHICAGO (June 20, 2019) — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Jasmine Jones of Greater Atlanta Christian School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Georgia Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Jones is the first Gatorade Georgia Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Greater Atlanta Christian 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 Jones as Georgia’s best high school girls track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in June, Jones 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-10 junior swept the 200-meter dash, the 100 hurdles and the long jump at the AAA state meet, leading the Spartans to the team title. She also ran the lead leg for the winning 4x400-meter relay quartet and the third leg for a 4x100 foursome that broke the tape as well. At the time of her selection, her personal-best 100 hurdles clocking of 13.33 seconds to capture gold at the Great Southwest Classic ranked No. 1 nationally among prep competitors in the event in 2019, and ranked No. 29 in U.S. girls prep history. Her winning leap in the long jump at states (20-feet, 2.25 inches) ranked No. 6 in the country, and her PR in the 200 (24.05) was No. 60. The high-point trophy-winner at the state meet, she now holds a trio of Georgia AAA state records (long jump, 100 and 300 hurdles) and has won 11 state titles.
A gifted dancer who has performed at the highest levels of competitive dance on private and school teams, Jones also participates in musical theater, having played primary roles in My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music. She has participated in a service-mission trip to Nicaragua and also donates her time as a tutor for lower-school students in addition to teaching dance and theater to young students. “I have coached for 36 years—the last 30 as the head coach at GAC—and I have never had an athlete close to Jasmine’s track ability,” said Greater Atlanta Christian School’s Brad Kinser. “But she’s also a quiet, humble young lady who’s much more than a runner or jumper. She dances, she loves the theater, she’s a brilliant student and she loves to talk about the last book she’s read. Jasmine is a great athlete and competitor—the stats to prove that—but she really is one of the finest people I’ve ever coached.”
Jones has maintained a weighted 4.40 GPA in the classroom and represents one of the state’s top academic candidates in meeting the Gatorade award’s broad criteria. She will begin her senior year of high school this fall.
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. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Jones joins recent Gatorade Georgia Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year Kennedy Simon (2017-18 & 2016-17, Westlake High School), and Cassondra Hall (2015-16, 2014-15 & 2013-14, Warner Robins High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Jones also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. She is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.