Leeling is the first Gatorade Nebraska Girls Track & Field Player of the Year to be chosen from Sidney High School

 CHICAGO, Ill. (June 25, 2024) — In its 39th year of honoring the nation’s most elite high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Karsyn Leeling of Sidney High School is the 2023-24 Gatorade Nebraska Girls Track & Field Player of the Year.

Leeling is the first Gatorade Nebraska Girls Track & Field Player of the Year to be chosen from Sidney High School.  

The award, which celebrates the nation’s top high school athletes for excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community, distinguishes Leeling as Nebraska’s best high school girls track & field athlete. From CEOs and coaches to star athletes, Gatorade Player of the Year winners showcase the power of sport, touting an all-star group of alumni that includes Sanya Richards-Ross (2001-02, St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Fla), Sydney McLaughlin (2016-17, 2015-16 & 2014-15, Union Catholic High School, N.J.) and Angelina Napoleon (2022-23, Allegany-Limestone Central School, N.Y.).  

The 5-foot-9 senior jumper swept the long jump, triple jump and high jump at the NSAA Class B State Championships, leading the Raiders to third place as a team. Leeling went on to win a national title in the high jump at Nike Outdoor Nationals, clearing six feet even to earn All-American honors. At the USATF U20 Championships, she took fourth in the event. Her clearance of 6-1.50 to win the Alliance Invite in April eclipsed the previous state record by more than three inches and ranked No. 1 nationally among prep girls competitors this spring—tied for No. 19 in prep history.  

Leeling has volunteered locally teaching summer youth swim lessons. She has also donated her time at various youth sports camps and as part of her school’s youth mentoring program.

“In a nerve-racking event defined by the need for delivering controlled power and fluid technique, the nation’s girls prep high jumpers successfully negotiated a 6-foot attempt only 10 times collectively this spring,” said Rich Gonzalez, editor for PrepCalTrack.com. “Karsyn Leeling owned half of those clearances. Within the state, her ledger was even more dominant. Having won each of the last two state titles in the event, she also owns the 10 best marks in state history — all 5-11 or higher. That type of consistency in such a technically precise event is just uncanny.”

Leeling has maintained a 3.66 GPA in the classroom.  

She has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on scholarship at the University of Nebraska 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. Leeling joins recent Gatorade Nebraska Girls Track & Field Players of the Year Lademi Davies (2022-23, Westside High School), Dajaz DeFrand (2021-22, Lincoln High School), Kailynn Gubbels (2020-21, Arlington High School) and Kalynn Meyer (2019-20, Superior High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.  

As part of Gatorade’s commitment to breaking down barriers in sport, every Player of the Year also receives a grant to donate to a social impact partner. To date, the Gatorade Player of the Year program has provided more than $4.9 million in grants to winners across more than 1,900 organizations.  

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 X(Twitter) at x.com/