We waited, and we witnessed.
Kaleb Nastari has had quite the showing on the oval this year in both indoor and the outdoor season; winning the indoor title in the 800m, and eventually sealing himself into the record books with his wire-to-wire performance of 1:48.31 during the OHSAA Division 3 Outdoor State Championships back in early June, breaking the previous record of 1:48.52 by Nick Plant the year before.
Within the leadup to this performance, particularly in the latter half of the outdoor season, Nastari was consistently running sub-1:50 for his marquee event, a time that only many could dream of.
To top off his historic final season, Nastari made the trek all the way Nike Outdoor Nationals and brought home the 800m crown back to Ohio.
See below for the full press release from Gatorade.
CHICAGO (June 29, 2023) - In its 38th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, Gatorade today
announced Kaleb Nastari of United Local High School is the 2022-23 Gatorade Ohio Boys Track & Field Player of
the Year. Nastari is the first Gatorade Ohio Boys Track & Field Player of the Year to be chosen from United Local
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 Nastari as Ohio'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, Nastari joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners
in 12 sports, including Nico Young (2019-20, Newbury Park High School, Calif.), Michael Norman (2015-16 & 2014-15,
Vista Murrieta High School, Calif.), Grant Fisher (2014-15 & 2013-14, Grand Blanc High School, Mich.) and Robert
Griffin III (2006-07, Copperas Cove High School, Texas)
The 5-foot-10, 150-pound senior set a state-record in the 800-meter run at the Division 3 state meet this past
season, leading the Eagles to a tie for 10th place as a team. Nastari broke the tape in 1:48.31, which ranked No. 6
nationally among prep competitors in 2023. He backed up that state record by winning the 800 title at Nike
Outdoor Nationals with a time of 1:49.25. He also won the Emerging Elite Mile at nationals in 4:13.95.
Nastari has volunteered locally as part of multiple community service initiatives through Ruritan National, a service
club in small towns and rural areas. "Kaleb Nastari proved to be predictably stellar in what is often the most
unpredictable event in the sport," said Rich Gonzalez, editor of PrepCalTrack.com. "The national leader entering
the postseason, the Union Local High senior won his first national title at Nike Outdoor Nationals. His winning time
of 1:48.31 two weeks earlier at the state meet broke the state record and slotted him into the Top 35 in U.S. prep
Nastari has maintained a 3.88 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on
scholarship at Penn State University 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.
Nastari joins recent Gatorade Ohio Boys Track & Field Players of the Year Nick Plant (2021-22, Canfield High
School), Justin Braun (2020-21, Westerville Central High School & 2019-20, Thomas Worthington High School), and
Evan Matthews (2018-19, Pickerington Central High School), among the state's list of former award winners.
Being a Gatorade Player of the Year means paying it forward for the next generation. Through Gatorade's Play it
Forward initiative, every Player of the Year receives a grant to give to one of Gatorade's social impact partners,
supporting Gatorade's ambition to fuel the future of sport. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners' grants have
totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.
For nearly 40 years, Gatorade has honored high school athletes at the top of their game as teammates, supporting
their communities and achieving academic success. From CEOs and coaches to star athletes and community
leaders, Gatorade Player of the Year winners showcase the power of sport.