OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- The Jim Thorpe Association honors four outstanding high school athletes as this year’s recipients of the Player of the Year award for track and cross-country.  A male and female athlete was chosen from both sports for the award.  Player of the Year recipients were selected by the association based on their exceptional athletic and academic performance, displayed character, coachable attitude and unselfish spirit.

The track and field honor will be given to Jason Coleman, Watonga High School and Jessica Eldridge, Broken Arrow High School. Brianna McLeod, Jenks High School and Andrew Tower, Stillwater High School will receive the award for cross-country.

            Jason Coleman is a four-time All-State track star and is undefeated in the 800, 1600 and 3200 meter dash.  Jason led the Watonga track team to three state titles in four years and was honored as Region 1 Athlete of the Year.  He is Watonga’s senior Valedictorian and a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council.

            Jessica Eldridge is the state record holder in the 1600-meter dash.  Competing head-to-head with in-state rival Brianna McLeod, the Player of the Year recipient for cross-country, Eldridge has been honored in the 800, 1600 and 3200 meter dash throughout her high school career.

            Andrew Tower was the 2002 state individual runner-up, 2002 AAU individual All-American and the 2002 AAU National track and field academic champion.   Tower is the Stillwater High School cross-country academic runner up with a 3.74 GPA.  He is active in Student Council, Relay for Life, Special Olympics and volunteers for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

            Brianna McLeod is a five-time state champion in track and a three-time state champion in cross-country, specializing in the 1600 and 3200-meter runs.   McLeod has broken records outside Oklahoma running the 1600 in just 4:55:06.  She is ranked sixth nationally in the 3200-meter run and competed in the U.S. Junior Championships.  McLeod has signed with the University of Washington on a track and field scholarship.

            The Player of the Year award recipients will be honored this month at awards ceremonies in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

For more information about the Player of the Year Award or the Jim Thorpe Association, please contact 405-644-6037.

             Stephanie Hansen

             Communications Director

             Jim Thorpe Association