CHICAGO (April 8, 2021) - In its 36th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Brooke Rauber of Tully High School as its 2020-21 Gatorade New York Girls Cross Country Player of the Year. Rauber is the first Gatorade New York Girls Cross Country Player of the Year to be chosen from Tully 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 Rauber as New York's best high school girls cross country player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Player of the Year award to be announced in April, Rauber joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Lukas Verzbicas (2010-11, 2009-10, Carl Sandburg High School, Orland Park, Ill.), Megan Goethals (2009-10, Rochester High School, Rochester Hills, Mich.), Jordan Hasay (2008-09, Mission College Preparatory Catholic High School, San Luis Obispo, Calif.) and Chris Derrick (2007-08, Neuqua Valley High School, Naperville, Ill.).
The 5-foot-6 senior won the USATF Junior Olympic championship this past season with a time of 16:52.84. A four-time Class D state champion, Rauber took second at the Northeast High School Club Championships in 17:00.3 and also crossed the line in second at the AAU National Championships in 16:54.9, trailing only Stanford University's Zofia Dudek, the 2019-20 Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Michigan.
Rauber has volunteered locally on behalf of the Friendly Acres 4-H Club, Helping Hounds Dog Rescue and youth running programs. "There wasn't a girl in New York who was on Brooke Rauber's level this year," said Jack Bernard, coach at South Lewis Central. "She had a dominant season, and besides being a great runner, she was a great role model for younger runners."
Rauber has maintained an A average in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in cross country and track and field on scholarship at North Carolina 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, who 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.
Rauber joins recent Gatorade New York Girls Cross Country Players of the Year Katelyn Tuohy (2019-20, 2018-19 & 2017-18 North Rockland High School), and Kelsey Chmiel (2016-17, Saratoga Springs High School), among the state's list of former award winners.
Through Gatorade's cause marketing platform "Play it Forward," Rauber has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing. Rauber is also eligible to submit a 30-second video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners' grants have totaled more than $2.7 million across 1,117 organizations.
Since the program's inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.playeroftheyear.gatorade.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.