Valley athlete Jake Merrell was honored on Sunday by Texas Panhandle Sports. He was named the Track Athlete of the Year for 2016, and was inducted into the Track Hall of Fame.
Merrell, who won the gold medal in the 800-meter run his Freshman year at state, added two more state gold medals to his collection this last season. He became a new record holder, setting state records in the 1600-meter race with 4:22.65 and in the 800-meter run with 1:55.11. He also helped bring home a silver medal with teammates Zack Stumbo, Dax Allen, and Juan Villarreal in the 1600-meter relay. Their time was 3:28.61…the gold medal winning team had a time of 3:27.04.
In a quote in the Amarillo Globe News, Jake speaks of this honor as a blessing, and thanks his family and coaches. He gives credit to God, and mentions that winning the relay with his teammates is more meaningful than winning alone.
Jake has been busy this year, with school and track, but it hasn’t stopped him from branching out in other areas as well. He has signed on with Diane Dick International Modeling and Talent Agency out of Amarillo, and has been laying the groundwork for a modeling career. He has already been named the Male Junion Model of the Year at the International Model and Talent Association’s Los Angeles Convention earlier this year.
Congratulations to Jake Merrell, and we all look forward to see what this ambitious young man accomplishes next!