East Greenwich's Jeffrey Pedersen and Portsmouth's Nikki Merrill were announced recently as the male and female recipients for the Gatorade RI Track & Field Athlete of the Year.
Pedersen, the state cross-country champion, captured individual honors in the 1,500-meter run at the Outdoor State Meet where he was timed in a nation No. 3 of 3:53.59. Pedersen, who will attend the University of Rhode Island this fall, also clocked a best of 8:33.90 for 3,000m (US #16). Additionally, he ran a leg on the Avengers' record-breaking 4x800m squad at the New Balance Nationals. East Greenwich finished third overall in the race with a state mark of 7:35.43.
Merrill, a junior, was dominant in the middle distance events. She claimed her second straight titles for 1,500m and 800m at the State Meet this past spring. The Patriot standout was ninth for 800m at NBN where she was timed in an outdoor best of 2:08.90.