Maggie Ewen named Gatorade athlete of the year

In its 27th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPNHS, last week announced Maggie Ewen of St. Francis High School (SFHS) as its 2011-12 Gatorade Minnesota Girls’ Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

St. Francis track star Maggie Ewen set records and took home the gold in the girls’ state track and field tournament earlier this month. File photo by Bill Jones
St. Francis track star Maggie Ewen set records and took home the gold in the girls’ state track and field tournament earlier this month. File photo by Bill Jones

“Maggie is a tremendous person; she excels in the classroom and has worked very hard to have the success she has in athletics,” said Andy Forbort, SFHS track and field coach.

Ewen is the first Gatorade Minnesota Girls’ Track and Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from St. Francis High School.

The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track.

Forbort calls Ewen a great example of excellence, both in the classroom and on the field, where she excels in throwing events.

“Maggie is a perfect example of someone who inherited some pretty darn good genes, but through hard work and dedication she has made herself an elite athlete in track and field,” Forbort said, referring to the many championships Ewen has won, including her record-breaking discus and shot put throws in this year’s state high school tournament.

The 5-foot 8-inch junior won the shot put with a throw of 48 feet, 4 inches and set a Minnesota state track meet record by launching the discus 171 feet, 9 inches at the Class AA state meet this spring.

A three-time first team all-state selection, Ewen earned third place in the discus at this month’s USA Track and Field Junior National Championships with a mark of 171 feet.

Her throw of 172 feet, 7 inches at the North Suburban Conference Championships in May set a state record and ranked as the nation’s number two throw by a prep competitor at the time of her selection.

Ewen has maintained a 3.9 grade-point average in the classroom. A member of the National Honor Society, she has volunteered locally on behalf of her school’s peer leadership team and as a youth track and field coach.

“Maggie Ewen is one of the finest competitors I have ever encountered,” said Forbort. “Despite all her amazing success and talents, she is the most humble and modest athlete I have ever met.”

Ewen leads by example, bringing her diligent work ethic to the field every day during the season and working harder than anyone else during the offseason, he said.

Being named Gatorade Minnesota girls’ track and field athlete of the year distinguishes Ewen as Minnesota’s best high school girls’ track and field athlete.

Gatorade Player of the Year

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 and field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport.

The selection process is administered by ESPNHS 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.

Past state award-winners in 12 sports include Allyson Felix (2001-02, Los Angeles Baptist, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo High School, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central High School, Ill.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo High School, Calif.), Lola Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt High School, La.) and Bianca Knight (2006-07, Ridgeland High School, Miss.).

For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit

Sue Austreng is at [email protected]