Last week we honored our 2023 Tom Spooner Award Nominees: Eliajah Randle, Nathan Gay, Casey Gay, Jalen Hayes, Angel Mendez Lopez, Cole Madison and Alexander Estrada Cortez. The Tom Spooner Award is given annually to an outstanding senior male athlete who demonstrates achievement in athletics, citizenship and academic excellence. This award is named in honor of Tom Spooner, a Richfield High School athlete, who died from leukemia in 1959 and personified these criteria.
Special congratulations to our 2023 Tom Spooner winner, Casey Gay. Casey is an outstanding four-sport athlete, competing in Cross Country, Football, Basketball and Track & Field. During his athletic career, he has earned four All Conference Awards and two Conference Honorable Mentions. Last year, he was a state qualifier in the 800m dash and placed 10th in Class AA. In addition to his athletic achievements, Casey is a member of the National Honor Society and has accumulated over 100 hours of community service during his senior year, while participating in four different sports! He also has the highest grade point average in the senior class, and is ranked in the 99th percentile in the nation on the ACT.
One of Casey's earliest athletic memories is related to track, but happened long before he started running. "When I was in elementary school, my twin brother Nathan and I were running the mile at the yearly wellness expo, and some of the high school runners joked that we were going to be track stars someday when we ran past them. I did not start running track until seventh grade, but I like to think back on that joke."
Casey will attend University of St. Thomas and major in the STEM field—he's considering physics, actuarial science or engineering. If he continues to excel on the track, there is a chance he could earn a spot on the track team as a walk-on next year. Congratulations, Casey!