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Mead High School’s Student News

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MHS graduate named Gatorade Colorado track & field athlete of the year

Tavon Underwood (’23) marks history as the first MHS athlete to be named Gatorade Player of the Year.
Austris Augusts on Unsplash
Tavon Underwood (’23) acquires another accomplishment for track and field.

On June 29th, Gatorade announced their Track and Field Athlete of the Year for the state of Colorado. Selected based off various factors such as athletic prowess, academic achievement, and exemplary character, Mead High School graduate Tavon Underwood (’23) won the award. This is a huge step for not only Underwood, but also track & field at MHS. 

“It feels phenomenal to be recognized like this,” said Underwood. “My hope is to bring more attention to track, especially at Mead High School where it feels like the football and men’s basketball teams get all the praise.”

Track & field continues to make a namesake for itself with athletes such as Tavon Underwood continuing to achieve such significant awards. Underwood placed first overall in the 200, 400, and 800-meter sprint in the 4A state championships. Underwood’s times were 20.93 seconds, 45.36 seconds, and 1:51.97, respectively. Underwood’s 400-meter sprint time is a new state record for the state of Colorado, and placed him in a first place spot amongst national prep competitors. The MHS track & field team placed seventh overall in the state championships. High feats accomplished by dedicated athletes such as Tavon Underwood put the track and field team in an outstanding spot for the 2022-2023 state championships.

“Being the first Mead High School athlete to win this award is awesome,” said Underwood, “It’s not often that sprinters win this award in the state of Colorado, but I’ll only be satisfied if it inspires others to do the same.”

Underwood is not only an outstanding athlete but also an inspiration to future track and field players. He’s proven that anything is possible if you’re truly dedicated to invest effort into the things you love. His sprints not only landed him a spot as a state champion, but also allowed him to come first in the 400 at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor and the Brooks PR Invitational. Underwood’s substantial feats have not gone unnoticed amongst colleges.

Underwood has signed a letter of intent to continue his sprinting career under a scholarship at K-State University in Manhattan, Kansas. When asked if the Gatorade Athlete of the Year award would affect his future goals in college for track, he said the award holds little weight in his decisions goal-wise, but that he hopes to win the national version of the award. “If I’m being honest, I have already achieved much greater feats than this award, and I will hopefully be able to build on that in college and potentially at the professional level.”

Underwood aspires to continue being the best athlete he can. This is exemplified by his hard work and dedication to track and field at MHS and continuing to compete in college. Continuing to pursue his career post-high school is a major step in both his goals of reaching the professional level and potentially coming out victorious in a high-stake professional competition. There’s no doubt in anybody’s mind that Tavon is capable of becoming a professional track & field athlete, his sprinting times and scholarship to K-State have come to prove how hardworking and dedicated he is to his craft.

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About the Contributor
Lars Messmer, MavTV Editor
Lars Messmer is a junior. He enjoys playing guitar, punk music, and listening to the best band, No Reason to Care. He is involved with Journalism. He is looking forward to writing more for The Mav this year.
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Comments (5)

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  • K

    KsAug 18, 2023 at 12:37 pm

    That’s awesome

  • H

    HaydenAug 18, 2023 at 12:32 pm


  • K

    Kendra RuizAug 18, 2023 at 11:07 am

    Thats cool!

  • M

    MaddieAug 18, 2023 at 11:01 am

    Good job tavon.

  • C

    Chayce MorrisAug 18, 2023 at 11:01 am

    Good job