After a tremendous prep career, Naya Shime was honored as the female winner of the 2020 Milward Simpson Outstanding Athlete of the Year honor two weeks ago.

Shime was a three-sport star student-athlete that earned multiple letters in volleyball, basketball, and track. She received all-state honors three times in both volleyball and track. Shime was a four-time finalist for Gatorade Wyoming Player of the Year honors, twice in volleyball and twice in track and field.

WyoPreps’ David Settle had a chance recently to visit by phone with Simpson Award winner Naya Shime. In an audio interview above, Shime explained what it means to her to receive this prestigious honor, how she found out, her initial reaction, which was one of surprise, and how she compared her credentials to the other four finalists. Shime described her decision to play volleyball versus possibly track at the collegiate level, reflected on her career in all three sports, which included changing schools her senior year, and looks forward to playing volleyball at the University of Wyoming, saying “Wyoming’s just home.”

Shime finished her high school career with 1,899 kills and 1,435 digs. If it weren’t for coronavirus, she would have played one last high school volleyball match. Naya was selected for the Wyoming Coaches’ Association All-Star Volleyball match in July, but it was canceled due to the pandemic. Now, she’s training and looking forward to competing for the Cowgirls on scholarship this fall.

She won four state championships in track and field between the long jump and 100-meter hurdles. Shime also received four total “Best of the Best” honors at the state track meet spread over the three years she competed. The “Best of the Best” accolade goes to an individual or relay team that has the top time, distance, or height in an event at the state track championships, regardless of classification. Shime earned two in the long jump (top distance) and two in the hurdles (fastest time). She lost her final outdoor track season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shime is the second winner of the Simpson Award to attend Kelly Walsh High School and sixth to have attended Riverton.

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