CHICAGO (February 12, 2018) -- In its 33rd year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Mason Gatewood of Saint Anthony's High School as its 2017-18 Gatorade New York Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year. Gatewood is the first Gatorade New York Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from St. Anthony's High School.
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 Gatewood as New York's best high school boys cross country runner. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year award to be announced in January, Gatewood joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Lukas Verzbicas (2010-11, 2009-10 Carl Sandburg, Orland Park, Ill.), Megan Goethals (2009-10, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Mich.), Jordan Hasay (2008-09, Mission College Prep., San Luis Obispo, Calif.), Donn Cabral (2007-08, Glastonbury High School, Glastonbury, Conn.) and Chris Derrick (2007-08, Neuqua Valley, Naperville, Ill.).
The 5-foot-10, 133-pound senior raced to the New York Federation Championship this past season in a time of 15:52.4. Gatewood also finished first at the Manhattan Invitational, the St. Anthony's Invitational, the Regis Invitational and the Catholic High School Athletic Association Intersectional championships. He finished 10th at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional championships and 36th at the National Foot Locker Cross Country Championships.
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A member of his school's leadership team, Gatewood has donated his time raising funds to benefit a local hospital and breast cancer awareness. "This was only Mason's second year running cross country and he made incredible improvements," said St. Anthony's coach Tim Dearie. "He was our captain and leader on and off the course, and he beat all the state public school champions at both the Eastern States (Manhattan Invitational) and the New York State Federation meet."
Gatewood has maintained an A average in the classroom. He will attend the University of Pennsylvania this fall, where he will compete in cross country and track and field.
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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 work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Gatewood joins Gatorade New York Boys Cross Country Runners of the Year Ty Brownlow (2016-17, Liverpool High School), Ben Petrella
(2015-16, Liverpool High School), Bryce Millar (2014-15,
Fayetteville-Manlius High School), Mickey Burke (2013-14, Rush-Henrietta
Senior High School), Nick Ryan (2012-13 & 2011-12,
Fayetteville-Manlius High School), Edward Owens (2010-11, The Packer Collegiate
Institute), Alex Deir (2009-10, Honeoye Falls-Lima High School), Joe
Whelan (2008-09, Hamburg High School), and Patrick Dupont (2007-08, Fairport High School) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Gatewood will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants -- one for each sport -- will be announced throughout the year.
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