High school seniors who combined to earn numerous all-state honors in multiple sports and win a combined 13 Wyoming Gatorade Athlete of the Year honors comprise this year’s finalists for the Milward Simpson Athlete of the Year awards.
The five girls finalists are: Rawlins’ Sydney Thorvaldson, Douglas’ Allyson Fertig and Kamdynn Townsend, Thunder Basin’s Gabby Drube and Powell’s Emma Karhu.
Thorvaldson was a six-time Gatorade winner (four cross country, two track) and this year became the first national Gatorade winner from Wyoming when she won the honors in cross country. Fertig was a two-time state winner for basketball.
For the boys, Cheyenne East’s Graedyn Buell, Encampment’s Dalton Peterson, Star Valley’s Peter Visser, Worland’s Rudy Sanford and Lyman’s Joseph Turner are the finalists.
Visser is a four-time Gatorade winner (three cross country, one track) while Buell was the state’s Gatorade winner for football this past season.
The Milward Simpson Athlete of the Year Award is considered to be the most prestigious honor bestowed upon a Wyoming high school athlete. This will be the 45th year for the award, which is named in honor of the late Milward Simpson, a former Wyoming governor (1954-58) and United States senator (1962-67) from Cody.
Simpson served as the team captain for the University of Wyoming football, basketball and baseball teams and earned varsity letters in each sport from 1917-21. He turned down a professional baseball contract to attend Harvard Law School before returning to his home state.