CHICAGO (June 28, 2023) — In its 38th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Olivia Powell of Woodward Academy is the 2022-23 Gatorade Georgia Girls Track & Field Player of the Year. Powell is the first Gatorade Georgia Girls Track & Field Player of the Year to be chosen from Woodward Academy.
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 Powell as Georgia’s best high school girls track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Player of the Year award to be announced in July, Powell joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Jasmine Moore (2018-19, Lake Ridge High School, Texas), Sydney McLaughlin (2016-17, 2015-16 & 2014-15, Union Catholic High School, N.J.), and Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt High School, Iowa).
The 5-foot-10 senior won Class 6A state titles in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles this past season—also competing for the winning 4x100 and 4x400 relay quartets—to help the War Eagles capture the team championship. Powell clocked a personal-best time of 13.41 seconds in the 100 hurdles in the prelims at New Balance Nationals, which ranks No. 10 nationally among girls prep competitors in 2023. The effort earned her third place and All-America honors. She also took third at the Brooks PR Invitational five days earlier. Powell ranked No. 8 in the country in the 300 hurdles this spring thanks to a personal-best clocking of 41.07 at the Class 6A sectional, which makes her the state’s No. 2 performer in girls prep history in the event.
Powell has partnered with area businesses to collect donations which provide free toiletry kits for foster care children in association with Bloom, a non-profit foster care organization. She has also volunteered locally on behalf of Bloom Shelter, Midwest Food Bank, Books For Africa, Angel Tree, a children’s church ministry, the Fayette County Retirement Home, the Boys and Girls Club and The Covenant House and a teen shelter for the unhoused. A member of the Girl Scouts of America, Powell has also donated her time on behalf of the NAACP Fayette County Youth Chapter along with the Jack and Jill of America Fayette County Chapter. “Olivia Powell capped off her high school career in inspiring fashion after having her junior year cut short by injury,” said Erik Boal, editor at DyeStat.com. “In the 100-meter hurdles, she was an All-American at New Balance Nationals and earned a top-three finish at the Brooks PR Invitational. She also ranked in among the nation’s top 10 girls prep competitors in both the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles, one of just five athletes in the country to manage that feat.”
Powell has maintained a 4.26 weighted GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on scholarship at Ohio State 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.
Powell joins recent Gatorade Georgia Girls Track & Field Players of the Year Kaniya Johnson (2021-22, Lowndes High School), Janae Profit (2020-21, Dunwoody High School), and Jasmine Jones (2019-20 & 2018-19, Greater Atlanta Christian 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.