Red Mountain's Vazquez earns Gatorade Arizona Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year

July 6, 2022 by Seth Polansky, AZPreps365

CHICAGO (July 6, 2022) — In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Yan Vazquez of Red Mountain High School is the 2021-22 Gatorade Arizona Boys Track & Field Player of the Year. Vazquez is the first Gatorade Arizona Boys Track & Field Player of the Year to be chosen from Red Mountain 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 Vazquez as Arizona’s best high school boys track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Player of the Year award to be announced in July, Vazquez joins an elite alumni association of state awardwinners in 12 sports, including Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt High School, Iowa), Allyson Felix (2002-03, Los Angeles Baptist High School, Calif.), Robert Griffin III (2006-07, Copperas Cove High School, Texas), Grant Fisher (2014-15 & 2013-14, Grand Blanc High School, Mich.) and Candace Hill (2014-15, Rockdale County High School, Ga.).

The 5-foot-11, 135-pound senior won the national championship in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles this past season at the Nike Outdoor Nationals. Vazquez followed up less than a week later by taking second in the 400 hurdles at the USATF Under-20 National Championships with a time of 50.95 seconds, which ranked No. 2 nationally among prep competitors in 2022 at the time of his selection. He also swept the 110-meter high hurdles and 300-meter intermediate hurdles at the Division 1 state meet, leading the Mountain Lions to a third-place finish as a team.

Vazquez has volunteered locally on behalf of Feed My Starving Children, and he has donated his time as a youth track coach. “Yan is an incredible athlete and competitor,” said Colin Mattoon, head coach of Desert Vista High. “He is one of those athletes that can excel in just about anything he does. It goes without saying, he’s one of the best to ever hurdle in this state.”

Vazquez has maintained a weighted 3.74 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on an athletic scholarship at UCLA this fall.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.

Vazquez joins recent Gatorade Arizona Boys Track & Field Players of the Year Dayton Carlson (2020-21, Casteel High School), Leo Daschbach (2019-20 & 2018-19, Highland High School), and Tyson Jones (2017-18, Desert Edge High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.

Gatorade has a long-standing history of serving athlete communities and understands how sports instill valuable lifelong skills on and off the field. Through Gatorade’s “Play it Forward” platform, Middleton has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national organization of their choosing that helps young athletes realize the benefits of playing sports. Middleton is also eligible to submit a short video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.

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.

To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate studentathletes, visit or follow us on social media on Facebook at, Instagram at and Twitter at