Pierce Murphy is the 2010-11 Gatorade Hawai‘i Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year, Gatorate announced on Thursday. Murphy, who graduated from Island School, becomes the first Gatorade athlete to be selected from Island School, an honor equaling the Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association’s selection of Murphy as one of two Hall of Honor student athletes, a first time honor for Island School.
The Gatorade award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track, a release from Gatorade said.
Murphy, a standout long distance runner for both cross country and track and field programs in the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation, was distinguished as Hawai‘i’s best high school boys track and field athlete.
With the award, Murphy is a finalist for the Gatorade National Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year award which will be announced in June, joining an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports.
Murphy has maintained a 3.69 Grade Point Average in the classroom and donated his time as a peer tutor and as a youth soccer instructor.
He captured the 1,500-meter run with a meet record time of 4:01.92 and set a new standard in the 3,000-meter run with a blistering 8:52,44 during the HHSAA state championships earlier in the spring.
Murphy’s times in both the 1,500 and 3,000 meter runs ranked nationally as Top 75 performances among prep competitors in 2011 when his selection was announced.
While a junior, Murphy placed first in the 1,500 and the 3,000 meter events during the HHSAA state meet, and as a sophomore, he finished runner up in both events.
“His biggest goal was to win both events and he wanted the meet records,” said Basil Scott, Murphy’s coach. “It was a terribly windy night for it and the fact he did it was amazing. I still cannot believe what I saw in the last 200 meters of the 3,000 run. He went out in good style. You just have to shake your head and say, ‘Wow.’ He’s always been a great competitor and a good sport. I’ve enjoyed coaching him the last three years. Great distance runners are discipline-oriented and self-motivated and all those things are true about Pierce.”
Murphy has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on an athletic scholarship at the University of Colorado this fall.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states which 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 and field. Gatorade awards one National Player of the Year in each sport in a selection process administered by ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Visit www.playeroftheyear.gatorade.com for a complete list of previous winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year.