Kiki Rice, Colin Sahlman win national prep athletes of year

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Basketball player Kiki Rice and cross country runner Colin Sahlman have been named national high school athletes of the year.

Rice, of Washington, is the ninth female basketball player to win the award sponsored by Gatorade since it began in 2003. Sahlman, of Newbury Park, California, is the first male cross country athlete to win.

The awards in Los Angeles returned to an in-person event Tuesday night for the first time in three years. The 2020 winners received their awards via video and last year’s program was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rice was a multi-sport athlete at the private Sidwell Friends School in Washington. She led the Quakers basketball team to a 28-0 record while averaging 15.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.1 assists last season and was a McDonald’s All-American. Rice was a two-time Gatorade girls soccer player of the year in her area.

Rice, who has won gold medals on under-16 and under-18 U.S. national teams, will play for UCLA this fall.

Sahlman recorded the fastest 5-kilometer time in U.S. prep history, winning a national title in 14:03.3 last season. He led the Newbury High Panthers to a national team title as well. Sahlman won the Division I state championship and helped the Panthers win the team title. He will compete at Northern Arizona this fall.

The other girls finalists were: Averi Carlson, volleyball, Lucas, Texas; Natalie Cook, cross country, Flower Mound, Texas; Keagan Rothrock, softball, Indianapolis; Riley Jackson, soccer, Roswell, Georgia; and Juliette Whittaker, track and field, Catonsville, Maryland.

The other boys finalists were: Nick Singleton, football, Shillington, Pennsylvania; Gradey Dick, basketball, Bel Aire, Kansas; Brock Porter, baseball, Orchard Lake, Michigan; Jacob Murrell, soccer, Owings Mills, Maryland; and Cade Flatt, track and field, Benton, Kentucky.

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