SW DeKalb Standout is Gatorade Georgia Boys Track Player of Year

CHICAGO (June 29, 2023) — In its 38th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Isaiah Taylor of Southwest DeKalb High School is the 2022-23 Gatorade Georgia Boys Track & Field Player of the Year. Taylor is the fifth Gatorade Georgia Boys Track & Field Player of the Year to be chosen from Southwest DeKalb 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 field, distinguishes Taylor as Georgia’s best high school boys track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Player of the Year award to be announced in July, Taylor joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Nico Young (2019-20, Newbury Park High School, Calif.), Michael Norman (2015-16 & 2014-15, Vista Murrieta High School, Calif.), Grant Fisher (2014-15 & 2013-14, Grand Blanc High School, Mich.) and Robert Griffin III (2006-07, Copperas Cove High School, Texas).

The 5-foot-11, 171-pound senior won two sprint events and sparked Southwest DeKalb High School to a sprint relay victory at the Class 4A state meet this past season, leading the Panthers to the team title. Taylor broke the tape in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 35.94 seconds, which ranked as the No. 1 clocking in the country among boys prep competitors in 2023. He won the 110 high hurdles in 13.70, a time that ranked No. 16 in the country this spring. He also anchored a victorious 4x400 relay quartet that clocked the nation’s fastest time in 2023, scorching the track in 3:10.55.

Taylor has volunteered locally at Watson’s Ministries, the Atlanta Food Bank and the YMCA. He has also donated his time as a Senate Page at the state capitol. “Isaiah Taylor delivered one of the most electrifying triple gold-medal performances in state history at the Georgia Class 4A state meet,” said Rich Gonzalez, editor of PrepCalTrack.com. “In the process, he clocked the nation’s No. 1 boys prep time this spring in the 300 hurdles and anchored the 4x400 relay quartet to another national-best time in 2023, which is one of the fastest clockings in the event in the past decade.”

Taylor has maintained a 3.35 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on an athletic scholarship at North Carolina A&T University 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. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.

Taylor joins recent Gatorade Georgia Boys Track & Field Players of the Year Will Sumner (2021-22, Woodstock High School), Malik Mixon (2020-21, Westlake High School), Jaylen Slade (2019-20, Chapel Hill High School), and Cameron Hudson (2018-19, Cedar Shoals High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.

Being a Gatorade Player of the Year means paying it forward for the next generation. Through Gatorade’s Play it Forward initiative, every Player of the Year receives a grant to give to one of Gatorade’s social impact partners, supporting Gatorade’s ambition to fuel the future of sport. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.

For nearly 40 years, Gatorade has honored high school athletes at the top of their game as teammates, supporting their communities and achieving academic success. From CEOs and coaches to star athletes and community leaders, Gatorade Player of the Year winners showcase the power of sport.  

To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.

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