The 2021 finalists have been announced for the prestigious Milward Simpson Award.

This honor is given to the most outstanding male and female student-athletes in the state. It is considered the most prestigious award a prep athlete can earn in their high school career.

This year’s honor will be presented at a luncheon on June 19, 2021, in Cody, at the Cody Auditorium Club Room.

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You can find a link to last year's winners and announcement at the bottom of this story.

Biographical information on the finalists is courtesy of the Simpson Award Committee.

GIRLS FINALISTS

Gabby Drube, Thunder Basin High School

During her four-year career, Gabby was a multiple letter winner in volleyball, basketball, and track. In volleyball, she was an all-conference and all-state selection. She set school records for career solo blocks (34) and block assists (202). Gabby was the middle hitter on the Thunder Basin state championship team her junior year and was selected to play in the Wyoming Coaches Association All-Star volleyball match this summer. In basketball, she was an integral member of her state championship team as a sophomore, and she led the team in rebounds her junior year. During her senior season, she was named all-conference, all-state, and she was selected as the 4A Player of the Year. This past season she set school records for the most points in a season (371), most 2-point field goals in a game (11), most 2-point field goals in a season (117), and the most 2-point field goals in a career (263). Gabby rounded out her basketball season by being selected as a nominee for the Wyoming Gatorade Player of the Year. She was selected to play in both the Wyoming/Montana and the Wyoming Coaches Association All-Star games. During the track season, she earned numerous all-state honors in the 300 hurdles (runner-up), 100 hurdles (runner-up), 4x400 relay (champions, “Best of the Best” award). Gabby set school records in the 100 hurdles (14.99), 300 hurdles (46.29), 4x100 relay (49.46), and the 4x400 relay (4:06.49). During her track career, she was twice named the Gary Benson Memorial Outstanding Female Athlete of the Meet. Gabby was injured this past season which limited her participation at the state track meet. She will be attending the University of Wyoming on a track scholarship this fall.

Allyson Fertig, Douglas High School

During her four-year career, Allyson earned multiple varsity letters in volleyball, basketball, and track. In volleyball, she was selected all-conference (4 times) and all-state (3 times). Throughout her career, she led her team in blocks, kill percentage, hitting efficiency, and kills for the season. Douglas was the regional runner-up (2 times), regional champion (2 times), and they placed all four years at the state tournament. Douglas was crowned 3A state champions her freshman season. Allyson was named the 3A East Player of the Year her senior season and was selected to play in the Wyoming Coaches Association All-Star match. In basketball, she received all-conference (4 times) and all-state (4 times). During her career, she set the following school records: most blocks in a career (452), most rebounds in a career (1198), most points in a season (542), most points in a career (1854), most field goals scored in a season (239), most field goals in a career (830—new state record), career field goal percentage (69%), points per game (22.6 --1st in the state), rebounds per game (13.3—1st in the state), blocks per game (4.5—1st in the state), game field goal percentage (71%--1st in the state). She was a Wyoming Gatorade Player of the Year nominee her sophomore year, and she won the Wyoming Gatorade Player of the Year both her junior and senior seasons. She was also selected as the Max Preps State Player of the Year. Allyson has been selected to play in both the Wyoming/Montana and the Wyoming Coaches Association All-Star games. During her track career, Allyson earned all-state three times. She is a two-time state champion in the shot put and state runner-up in the discus. She is also the current shot put record holder at Douglas High School (43’ 1.5”). Allyson will be attending the University of Wyoming on a basketball scholarship where she plans to major in mathematics.

Emma Karhu, Powell High School

During her four-year career, Emma earned multiple varsity letters in swimming/diving, wrestling, and track. She also set Powell school weightlifting records in the bench press (160 lbs.), squat (260 lbs.), and incline press (150 lbs.). In swimming/diving, she placed each year in diving where she won the state title her junior season. She was named all-conference and all-state multiple times, and her team was the state runner-up twice. She also holds the Powell school diving records in the 6 Dive format (280.75) and the 11 Dive format (402.10). In wrestling, Emma is the highest placing female in Wyoming State wrestling history. She was also the first female to place and medal multiple times at the Wyoming State 3A Wrestling tournament where she finished 5th both her freshman and senior years. During her wrestling career, Powell High School took home state team trophies for 3rd, 4th, and 5th. She was also honored with the Governor’s Award for Excellence at the Women’s National Folk Style wrestling tournament, where she placed 3rd and received All-American status. During Emma’s track career she had numerous state placings and was awarded all-state (2 times). She was a member of the state champion 4x100 relay team her sophomore year, and she was the state runner-up this past season in the pole vault where her team took home the 3A State Championship. She plans on attending the University of Wyoming and pursuing a degree in Nursing. Emma is the daughter of Veronica and Rory Karhu.

Sydney Thorvaldson, Rawlins High School

During her four-year career, Sydney was a multiple letter winner in cross-country, indoor track, and outdoor track. Throughout her career, she won 19 individual state championships and all-state honors. In cross-country, she was undefeated for her career in the regular season, regional, and state competitions. In her junior and senior years, during the state cross-country meet, she set new state records and ran the only documented sub-17 minute 5K time in the state. Sydney was a (4 time) Wyoming Cross-Country Gatorade Player of the Year, and she was crowned as the National Gatorade Cross-Country Player of the year—the first Wyoming male or female athlete to achieve this award in any sport. She also received All-American status numerous times. Sydney was a (3 time) Nike Cross-Country Champion, and she was the 2020 National Cross-Country Champion where she set a new course record. In indoor track, she was undefeated during her career in the 800 meters, 1600 meters, and 3200 meters. She currently holds state indoor track records in all three of these events. Sydney also broke the meet record in the 3200 meters both her junior and senior seasons at the Simplot Games. She placed first in both the mile and two-mile at the prestigious Virginia Showcase while breaking both records, and she holds the second-fastest two-mile time in high school history. Sydney is the 2021 National Indoor Track Champion in the mile run, and she is the 2021 National Indoor Champion in the two-mile, where she ran the second-fastest time in U.S. history for a high school female runner. During her outdoor track career, she was undefeated in the 800 meters, 1600 meters, and 3200 meters. Sydney holds the state outdoor track records in the 1600 meters and the 3200 meters. She has been named the Wyoming Gatorade Player of the Year in track (2 times). Sydney was injured and therefore unable to complete her senior seasons. She plans to attend the University of Arkansas on a track scholarship.

Kamdynn Townsend, Douglas High School

During her four-year career, Kamdynn was a multiple letter winner in volleyball, basketball, and track. In volleyball, she was selected to the all-conference team (2 times) and was named all-state her senior season. Douglas was the regional runner-up (2 times), regional champion (2 times), and they placed all four years at the state tournament. She led her team in assists both her junior and senior years, and she was a member of the 3A state championship team her freshman season. In basketball, she was all-conference (3 times) and all-state (2 times). During this time, Douglas High School took home the state championship trophy three times. Before her junior season was canceled Douglas High School won the 3A East Regional Tournament and was headed into the state tournament undefeated. That season she led Douglas in steals, 3-point field goals made (24), and 3-point field goal percentage (28%). Her senior season she was the leader in free throws with (64%) accuracy. This summer Kamdynn will play in both the Wyoming/Montana and the Wyoming Coaches Association All-Star games. In track, she was named all-state (9 times). During her career, Kamdynn was state runner-up in the 200 meters (twice) and the high jump. She holds state titles in the 400 meters (twice), high jump (twice), 4x100 relay, and the long jump. She was named the 3A East Conference Female Track Athlete of the Year this past season. Kamdynn plans to attend college and major in business.

BOYS FINALISTS

Graedyn Buell, Cheyenne East High School

During his four-year career Graedyn was a multiple letter winner in football and basketball. He also participated in track for two years and golf his senior year. In football, he was named all-conference (3 times) and all-state (2 times). His freshman season he competed for Rock Springs High School and was named their offensive player of the year. He then moved to Cheyenne East and was selected as his team’s offensive player of the year (3 times), 4A East conference, and 4A state offensive player of the year (2 times), and he led his team to the 4A state championship his senior season. He was selected (2 times) to the Super-25 Team and was twice named offensive player of the year. Graedyn holds multiple Cheyenne East school records: career passing yards, career all-purpose yards, season passing yards, season all-purpose yards, career passing touchdowns, season passing touchdowns, best record, team passing, and total team offense. He also holds Wyoming state records for career passing yards and all-purpose yards. Graedyn led the state this year in passing yards, all-purpose yards, and touchdowns. To cap off his career he was named the Wyoming Gatorade Player of the Year, and he will play in the Wyoming Shrine Bowl game. In basketball, he was named all-conference and all-state (3 times). He was forced to sit out all but the last ten games during his sophomore season due to injury, but upon returning was named the Cheyenne East “Comeback Player of the Year”. During his career, he has led the state in assists, been named to the USA Today All-Wyoming Team, and was the state’s scoring leader this past season. He holds the school record for free throws made in a season, and throughout his career, he has scored more than 1,500 points. Graedyn will be attending North Dakota State College of Science for one year, majoring in Business Marketing. He then plans to transfer to the University of Wyoming to continue his education and play football.

Dalton Peterson, Encampment High School

During his four-year high school career, Dalton earned multiple letter awards in football, basketball, and track. In football, he was named all-conference and all-state, and he was a recipient of a National Football Foundation Scholar/Athlete award his senior year. His freshman season he was a varsity starter for Saratoga High School where he won the “Rookie of the Year” honors. Starting his sophomore season Encampment began the journey to establish their own 1A 6-man program. It was not until his junior year that football would return to his community, and during that season he led their team in receiving yards, touchdowns, and he was named defensive player of the year. Encampment reached the state semi-final game his senior season where he led his team in passing yards, touchdowns, tackles, and defensive points. Dalton was selected to the third team Super-25 state team twice, and he will play in the Wyoming/Nebraska All-Star 6-man football game. In basketball, he was named all-conference and all-state (3 times), conference player of the year (2 times), and he was selected as the Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year (3 times). Dalton garnered multiple awards as both the Carbon County and Three Trails Conference Player of the Year. Throughout his career he led his team in points, rebounds, steals, assists, and free throw percentage. At the state tournament, his team took third place (2 times) and were the state runners-up his sophomore season. Dalton was selected to play in both the Wyoming/Montana and the Wyoming Coaches Association All-Star games. During his track career, he was a multiple regional and state placer. His senior season he placed in four events at the state track meet, and he held the top discus throw in Class 1A heading into the state meet. He was honored this spring by being named the 1A/2A Southwest District Male Athlete of the Year. Dalton will attend Casper College on a basketball scholarship.

Rudy Sanford, Worland High School

During his four-year career Rudy was a multiple letter winner in football, basketball, and soccer. In football, he was named all-conference (2 times) and all-state his senior year. He was the starting quarterback throughout his high school career and helped lead Worland to playoff appearances in both his junior and senior seasons. This past season, he led the state in passing yards, and he has been selected to play in the Wyoming Shrine Bowl game. In basketball, he was selected all-conference (3 times) and all-state (3 times). Throughout his career, he led his team in scoring and 3-point field goal percentage. During his sophomore season, they ended the season as 3A Consolation Champions. Before his junior season was canceled, they were crowned 3A West Regional Champions with a 24-1 season record. Rudy’s senior basketball season saw the Warrior’s again winning the 3A West Regional Championship along with the 3A State Championship. He finished his career as the second all-time leading scorer in Wyoming High School history, and he has made the fifth-most 3-pointers in a career in Wyoming High School history. Rudy was selected to play in both the Wyoming/Montana and Wyoming Coaches’ Association all-star games. During his soccer career, he was named all-conference (3 times) and all-state (3 times). Rudy led the state in assists multiple years, and he was named the Wyoming Player of the Week by the United Soccer Coaches. This past year he was also awarded the prestigious Wilford Mower Award for the top student-athlete in Northwestern Wyoming. He plans on attending the University of Wyoming and studying Pre-Pharmacy.

Joseph Turner, Lyman High School

During his four-year high school career, Joseph was a multiple letter award winner in football, basketball, and track. In football, he was both an all-conference and all-state selection. He was also selected to the Super-25 second team. Lyman high school finished this past season with a record of 11-1, and they were crowned the 2A state football champions. Joseph will play in the Wyoming Shrine Bowl game this summer. He was a member of the Lyman High School basketball team, and he was awarded the WHSAA Sportsmanship Award. In track, he has won multiple 3A West regional titles in the shot put and discus. He was awarded all-state (3 times) where he won a shot put title and two discus titles. This past track season he held the top discus mark in the state with a throw of 182’ 5” which ranked him 22nd in the nation among high school throwers. He now holds the Lyman High School throwing records in the discus (182’ 5”) and the shot put (61”2”). At this year’s state track meet Joseph won the discus with a throw of (175’ 10”) and the shot put at (57’ 5.75”). His discus throw earned him the “Best of the Best” award at the state meet. He was also a Wyoming Gatorade Player of the Year nominee, with this year’s award yet to be announced. Lyman High School selected him as their nominee for the Southwest District Male Student/Athlete of the Year. Joseph plans to attend Utah State University in the fall of 2023, on a track and field scholarship, after he serves a two-year mission for his church.

Peter Visser, Star Valley High School

During his four-year career, Peter earned multiple letter awards in cross-country, indoor track, and outdoor track. In cross-country, he was named all-conference and all-state (4 times), where his teams won conference championships (3 times) and were crowned the state champions (2 times). Peter was the state cross-country champion (3 times) and garnered All-American honors. During his career, he placed in numerous national meets such as the Cardinal Classic-1st, SHARC Invite 1st, Nike Portland 3rd, and the Elite Alderbrook Course 5k 2nd. He was selected as the Wyoming Gatorade Player of the Year (3 times). In indoor track, he was named all-state (11 times). He has won eight state championship titles while competing in the 4x 800 relay, 3200 meters, 1600 meters, and the 800 meters. Peter holds the current state record in the 3200 meters (4:14.85). He has placed in national meets such as the Simplot Games 2nd, UHSTC Championships 1st, and the Jaguar Invitational 1st. During his outdoor track career, he has earned all-state (7 times) while his team has won multiple state championships. He has been named the Wyoming Gatorade Player of the Year, with this year’s award yet to be announced. Peter has won numerous titles in the 4x800 relay, 3200 meters, 1600 meters, and 800 meters. He also holds the school record in the 4x800 relay and the 1600 meters (4:15.5). This year at the state track meet he broke the overall class 3200 meter record with a time of (9:18.79). He has also competed in numerous national outdoor track meets including being a top finisher in both the 1600 meters and 3200 meters at the BYU Invitational, Arcadia Invitational 1600 meters 3rd, NSAF Meet of Champions 1600 meters 6th, and the NSAF Meet of Champions steeplechase 1st. Peter plans to attend Weber State on a cross-country and track scholarship.

LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history

Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.