CHICAGO — Armand Duplantis of Lafayette High School was been named the Gatorade Louisiana Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year.
Duplantis is the third Gatorade Louisiana Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from school. His older brother, former LSU competitors Andreas Duplantis, was the Gatorade winner in 2009-10. He is the third straight pole vaulter to win the honor, following Devin King of Jewel Sumner (Southeastern Louisiana) and Dylan Duvio of John Curtis (Stanford).
The Duplantises are the sons of former LSU All-America Greg Duplantis.
The award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, high academic standards and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track, distinguishes Duplantis as Louisiana’s best high school boys track & field athlete. The freshman is now a finalist for Gatorade’s National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year award.
The 5-foot-8, 126-pound Duplantis soared a meet-record 16 feet, 9-inches to win the pole vault at the Class 5A state championship meet this spring. Duplantis also shattered the national freshman record with his season-best clearance of 17-4, which ranked as the nation’s No. 4 performance among prep competitors in 2015 at the time of his selection.
Duplantis finished second in the pole vault at the Texas Relays, took third at the Great Southwest Classic and won the event indoors at the Millrose Games. Last summer, Duplantis captured the pole vault title at the USATF Junior Olympic Track & Field National Championships.
He has maintained a B-plus average in the classroom. He has volunteered locally on behalf of youth track athletes.
“Duplantis is just a monster who’s probably going to break every record out there,” said Shane LeLeux, owner of New Heights Gym.
“He’s very fast on the runway and has no inhibitions; he just goes for it. He’s been a student of the sport his whole life, and there’s no limit to how high he can go.”