Jewel Sumner pole vaulter Devin King was selected as the 2013-14 Gatorade Louisiana Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year.
King cleared a state outdoor record of 17 feet, 8 inches at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association State meet last month at LSU, leading the Cowboys to a second-place finish in Class 3A. He also finished first at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals held last week in Greensboro, N.C.
King’s 17-8 mark ranked No. 2 among U.S. new school competitors during the outdoor season.
The Southeastern Louisiana University signee set a national indoor record by clearing 17-10¼ at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in New York in March.
“Devin King is a case of the right pairing of a talented athlete with an event that suits his mentality and physical ability,” said ex-Olympian Erica Bartolina, owner of Bartolina Athletics, who is King’s personal coach in a news release. “Pole vaulting has come to him naturally from the very beginning, but he’s contributed a lot of hard work and consistency. I think he cleared 17 feet at every meet this spring.”
King maintained a B average in the classroom. A devoted member of his church community, he has volunteers in the Tangipahoa Parish by assisting the elderly and coaching youth track athletes.
Interestingly, it is the second straight year a pole vault competitor claimed Louisiana’s boys track award. John Curtis’ Dylan Duvio, now a competitor at Stanford, was the 2012-13 winner.
King is now eligible to win the national Gatorade award that will be announced in the weeks ahead.