The 2020 high school track and field season didn’t happen. But that didn’t stop Ridgefield’s Trey Knight from setting records or winning honors.
Two days after Knight broke the U.S. high school record for the hammer throw, the recent Ridgefield High School graduate was honored as the 2019-20 Gatorade Washington Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year for a third consecutive year.
“Trey’s personal record and statistics have not changed since last year, but I can tell you they would have,” Ridgefield track and field coach Gregg Ford said. “Trey did not skip a beat in his preparation and there is no doubt he would have improved across the board.”
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior ranked No. 1 in the weight throw in the nation in the 2020 indoor track season with a best of 83 feet, 11.75 inches. His 2019 best mark of 86-7.5 ranked No. 2 all-time in the nation for a high school athlete.
On Saturday, Knight set a national high school record for the hammer throw at the Super Thrower Track Club meet at the Concordia University Throw Center in Portland. His throw of 261 feet, 7 inches on the fifth of six attempts broke the previous mark of 260-5 set by Rudy Winkler in 2013.
In 2016, Winkler won the US Olympic Trials in the men’s hammer throw, but Winkler’s all-time high school mark is one Knight has targeted for a while.
That’s what made Saturday special.
“I was waiting for that day,” Knight said Monday when reached by telephone. “It was like a big relief was off my shoulders — to get that out of the way. To finally get it, it was so nice.
“I definitely knew it was a big throw when it went,” he added, “… it landed, and looked so far.”
The 18-year-old beat out 11 other high school competitors at the Portland meet, outdistancing the runner-up by more than 69 feet.
The Gatorade award recognizes not only outstanding athlete excellence but also high standards in academic achievement and exemplary character. As the Washington state winner, Knight will be a finalist for the national Gatorade honor, which will be announced in July.
Knight maintained at 3.65 grade-point average. He has volunteered at Daybreak Youth Services, serving Christmas breakfast to residents, and donated his time as youth track coach. Knight said Monday he’s humbled to receive the honor for a third time — one of few around the country to be a three-time winner. But more importantly, also representing Ridgefield and putting the community on the track and field stage on a national level.
Just all part of a whirlwind 48 hours of congratulatory calls, texts and media interviews.
“I’m thankful for it all, and super excited,” Knight said. “It’ s a lot — just trying to take it all in.”
Knight has signed a national letter of intent to attend and compete in track and field for the University of Southern California. He said Monday he plans to head to USC in August.
Knight joins a list of recent Washington winners of the Gatorade award Brigham Cardon of Selah (2017), Jack Yearian of Bellarmine Prep (2015 and 2016) and Drew Schreiber of Eisenhower (2014).