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Athletes of the Year San Antonio/Austin

5/13/2009

BOYS' ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

GARRETT GILBERT
Lake Travis / Football
Given the Lone Star State's long track record of gridiron success, it's hard to
believe Gilbert was the state's first Gatorade National Football Player of the
Year winner. But who better to represent Texas prep football than Gilbert, the
state's all-time leading passer? Gilbert threw for a single-season state record
4,851 yards in the fall to become the state's career passing leader at 12,534
yards. A Texas recruit, Gilbert added 58 TD passes as a senior to lead the Cavaliers
to an undefeated season and a Class 4A, Division I state title.

OTHER FINALISTS

PEYTON BURNS
Westlake / Wrestling
Burns claimed the Chaps' first wrestling state championship this winter with
a title in the 152-pound weight class. He finished the season 34-2 and helped
Westlake to a second-place finish as a team.

CORY JEFFERSON
Killeen / Basketball
A 6-10 senior forward, Jefferson averaged 19.8 points, 14.2 boards and six
blocks per game to lead Killeen to the regional quarterfinals. Rated the
nation's No. 89 recruit in the ESPNU 100, Jefferson has signed with Baylor.

ZACH ORNELAS
Vista Ridge / Track & Field
Ornelas, a senior Michigan recruit, won a second consecutive steeplechase
title at this year's Texas Relays. He took second at the Class 5A state XC meet in
the fall and is one of the state's best distance runners during track season.

GIRLS' ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

SAMANTHA TUCKER
Westlake / Swimming
Tucker continued to pile up the medals and records at this year's Class 5A
state meet. The junior set a pair of national prep records and won three golds
overall to push her career state championship total to 10. Tucker swam a
1:44.64 in the 200 freestyle to chop exactly half a second off the previous
record. She also shaved six-hundredths of a second off the 100 free national
record with a 48.53. Tucker added a gold as a member of the 4x100 free relay
team to run away with TISCA Swimmer of the Year honors.

OTHER FINALISTS

CHRISTINA HOLLAND
Judson / Track & Field
A three-time ESPN RISE All-Area selection, Holland continued to dominate this
season. The senior won the 100 hurdles at the Texas Relays and was among the
nation's elite in both the 100 and 300 hurdles.

LILLY KIMBELL
New Braunfels / Tennis
A two-time Class 4A singles state champion entering her junior year, Kimbell
faced a new challenge this spring as the Unicorns moved up to Class 5A. But as
one of the nation's Top 10 junior players, Kimbell was well equipped to adjust.

BLAIRE LUNA
Bowie / Softball
Luna is simply unhittable when she's pitching at her best. And as the rest of the
state has learned the past few seasons, Luna is almost always at her best. The
senior Texas recruit eclipsed the 60-win mark for her career this spring.