Oak Park, MI. – In its 35th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company announced that Aasia Laurencin of Oak Park High School has received its 2019-20 Gatorade Michigan Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Laurencin is the third Gatorade Michigan Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Oak Park High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Laurencin as Michigan’s best high school girls track & field athlete. The 5-foot-11 senior won her third consecutive indoor state championship this past winter with a time of 8.40 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles, which ranked as the nation’s No. 3 prep performance in 2020 indoors. Laurencin also ran a leg on the second-place 4×200 relay. In the 2019 outdoor season, she took second at the Div. 1 state meet in the 100 hurdles, before capturing silver in the sprint medley relay and bronze in the 100 hurdles at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor.
“It’s a great honor to be named Gatorade track and field player of the year,” Laurencin said. “It shows that hard work and patience really pays off. I’m filled with complete joy and pride.”
Laurencin started running in the 7th grade when she was only 12 years old and has been in love with the sport ever since. Her main events are the 100-meter hurdles, the 60-meter hurdles, and the 200-meter dash. Laurencin holds two high school records in the 60 and 100-meter hurdles records and the AAU club National record in the 100-meter hurdles. It was her great skill and record-breaking events which started to get her noticed on the Division 1 college recruiting circuit. After the New Balance Indoor Invitationals, the offers started pouring in.
She received over 20 offers from some of the top track schools in the nation including Texas, The Ohio State University, University of Southern California, Virginia, Florida State, Louisiana State, Auburn, and many more. But after careful time and consideration Laurencin committed to the University of Texas Longhorns in Austin, Texas.
“It was a tough decision but I really loved Texas and I’ll be running with pro athletes that run my events and I loved Coach Flo’s energy,” Laurencin said referring to Texas Coach Edrick Floreal. “He made me feel like I can trust him and he can get me to the next level. Plus I was very impressed with their academics and alumni. “
Although due to the Covid-19 pandemic across the United States which included her missing out on her senior season because of the State Of Michigan lockdown, she handled it in a very positive way.
“At first I was mad, then sad but I really understand the reason why and I started to think of the positive side of things,” Laurencin stated. “The downtime allowed me to heal my body and grow as a better person and athlete.”
Laurencin was a very active student for her Oak Park Knights as she was President of her school’s chapter of the National Honor Society and has volunteered locally on behalf of youth track programs.
“Aasia has been a joy to coach, and the intangibles she possesses—outside of her great athletic ability—set her apart from other competitors,” said Oak Park coach Brandon Jiles. “She has been a tireless leader, not only for our track program but for the community as a whole.”
Laurencin joins recent Gatorade Michigan Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year Ericka VanderLende (2018-19, Rockford High School), Grace Stark (2017-18, Lakeland High School), Anne Forsyth (2016-17, Pioneer High School), Brianna Holloway (2015-16, Oak Park High School), Annie Fuller (2014-15, Manistee High School), and Anna Jefferson (2013-14, Oak Park High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
“I really look up to my coaches and my mom (Charita Herron) and dad (Omar Laurencin) for proving hard work pays off and for believing in me,” Laurencin states. “My family has been a big help in my life, especially my grandparents who have helped impact my life in a positive way.”
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners, and educators. And someday soon Aasia Laurencin will be included in that group. But she has a lot of big business to attend to first for the Burnt Orange of Texas.
“I’m really going to miss my Oak Park team, it’s the best team ever,” Laurencin exclaimed! “They are my family for life. But I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my life and I plan on doing big things and making history at UT Austin!”