For the second straight year, Danae Rivers has proven she is one of the best on the track in Connecticut.
On Wednesday, Rivers, a junior at Wilbur Cross, was named the 2014-15 Gatorade Track and Field Girls’ Athlete of the Year.
This is second consecutive year she has won the award, and she is the first athlete since Precious Holmes of Hillhouse (2011-12) to win the award back to back years.
Rivers set herself apart on the track as the top middle distance runner in Connecticut and one of the best in the nation.
Rivers won the Southern Connecticut Conference 1,600 (5:03.09), 800 (2:09.57) and was the anchor of the winning 4×400 relay.
At the Class L state meet, Rivers claimed the 1,600 title (4:59.58) and then shattered a 34 year-old meet record in the 800, clocking 2:08.66. She was the anchor in the 4×4 and helped guide her team to a state runner-up finish.
Rivers continued her dominance at the State Open Championships where she won the 1,600 (4:48.33) and 800 (2:14.94).
At the New England Championships in Saco, Maine, Rivers set a state, meet and stadium record in the 800, as she won the event in a time of 2:05.86. She beat the old state record of 2:07.19 that was established in 1992 by Liz Mueller. Rivers also was the anchor on the 4×4 that placed third (3:55.68).
“I have been coaching since 1986, and I have had the pleasure of witnessing and coaching some amazingly talented athletes,” said Patrick Redding, head coach of rival Sacred Heart Academy in the Gatorade release. “She has been one of the best I’ve witnessed. She has been a dominant runner from the moment she hit high school. She has an effortless way of running, textbook form, and she is a tremendous competitor. She is a coach’s dream. She can run anything from a 200 to a cross country course. She’s truly a once in a lifetime athlete.”
Rivers’ 800 time currently ranks fifth fastest in the nation. Rivers is set to run at the New Balance Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina on Sunday afternoon.
Off the track, Rivers has maintained a 4.42 weighted GPA and according to the Gatorade release, she is part of the National Honor Society and National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs.