CHICAGO (June 29, 2022) – In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Cade Flatt of Marshall County High School is the 2021-22 Gatorade Kentucky Boys Track & Field Player of the Year. Flatt is the first Gatorade Kentucky Boys Track & Field Player of the Year to be chosen from Marshall County High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Flatt as Kentucky’s best high school boys track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Player of the Year award to be announced in July, Flatt joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt High School, Iowa), Allyson Felix (2002-03, Los Angeles Baptist High School, Calif.), Robert Griffin III (2006-07, Copperas Cove High School, Texas), Grant Fisher (2014- 15 & 2013-14, Grand Blanc High School, Mich.) and Candace Hill (2014-15, Rockdale County High School, Ga.).
The 6-foot-1, 160-pound senior set a state record in winning the national championship in the 800-meter run at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor this past season. Flatt’s clocking of 1:46.48 was 0.03 seconds shy of the national high-school record that has stood since 1996. Flatt produced five of this century’s top six 800 times this spring, and ran a 1:46.53 in a qualifying round for the 800 at the elite, all-ages USATF Outdoor Championships, finishing ninth overall and missing the final by one slot. Flatt won the 400-meter dash and the 800 at the Class AAA state meet, leading the Marshals to a third-place finish as a team. His best 400 time of 46.89 seconds ranked No. 25 nationally among prep competitors in 2022 at the time of his selection.
A member of the Marshall County High Gifted and Talented program, Flatt has volunteered as part of multiple community service initiatives through his school’s Leadership Class, including elementary-school tutoring and literacy-outreach programs. He is also a four-year member of the Marshall County Pep Club. “Cade is unreal,” said John Kirkpatrick, head coach of Daviess County High School. “I’ve never witnessed or coached against anyone remotely close to his level of talent. He will be an Olympic athlete.”
Flatt has maintained a weighted 4.13 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on an athletic scholarship at the University of Mississippi this fall.
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 & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.
Flatt joins recent Gatorade Kentucky Boys Track & Field Players of the Year Mario Paul (2020-21, Paul Laurence Dunbar), Christian Lewis (2019-20, Frederick Douglass), Langston Jackson (2018-19, Henry Clay), and Bryan Hudson (2017-18, Scott County), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Gatorade has a long-standing history of serving athlete communities and understands how sports instill valuable lifelong skills on and off the field. Through Gatorade’s “Play it Forward” platform, Flatt has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national organization of their choosing that helps young athletes realize the benefits of playing sports. Flatt is also eligible to submit a short video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators. To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.