CHICAGO (July 8, 2021) — In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Malik Mixon of Westlake High School as its 2020-21 Gatorade Georgia Boys Track & Field Player of the Year. Mixon is the second Gatorade Georgia Boys Track & Field Player of the Year to be chosen from Westlake 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 Mixon 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, Mixon joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, 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 6-foot-1, 176-pound junior swept the 110- and 300-meter hurdles at the Class 6A state meet, clocking a personal-best time in the latter and leading the Lions to a third-place finish as a team. Mixon’s personal best time of 13.78 seconds in the 110 at sectionals ranked as the nation’s No. 12 all-conditions performance among 2021 prep competitors at the time of his selection. His title-winning 300 performance at the state meet (37.23) ranked No. 17 nationally. He also ranked in the nation’s Top 100 in the 400 dash thanks to a 48.20 clocking in March.
Mixon has volunteered and fund-raised locally on behalf of the Atlanta Mission homeless shelter. “As great as Malik is on the track, he’s also great in the classroom and he’s our team leader,” said Jason Cage, head coach at Westlake High. “He always keeps an upbeat and positive outlook.”
Mixon has maintained a B average in the classroom. He will begin his 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. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Mixon joins recent Gatorade Georgia Boys Track & Field Players of the Year Jaylen Slade (2019-20, Chapel Hill High School), Cameron Hudson (2018-19, Cedar Shoals High School), Cameron Murray (2017-18, Westlake High School), and Elija Godwin (2016-17, Newton High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Mixon has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing. Mixon is also eligible to submit a 30-second video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $2.7 million across 1,117 organizations.
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.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.