In its 33rd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Katelyn Tuohy of North Rockland High School (Thiells, N.Y.) as its 2017-18 Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. Tuohy was surprised with the news by pro middle distance runner Mary Cain.
“Katelyn really deserves to be this year’s Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year because she symbolizes everything the award stands for,” said Cain. “Not only has Katelyn impressed on the racecourse, but she’s also a good student and is a positive influence in the community. I’m excited to watch her continue and see what she will accomplish in the future.”
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the course, distinguishes Tuohy as the nation’s best high school girls cross country runner. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select her from 220,000 high school girls cross country runners nationwide. Tuohy is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.
The 5-foot-4 sophomore raced to the Nike Cross Nationals championship this past season, breaking the tape in a course-record time of 16:44.7. Tuohy also won the Class A individual state championship in a course-record 17:51.4, and finished first at the New York Federation Championships in 16:52.4. Undefeated on the season, she also beat a loaded field at the NXN New York Regional championships (17:01) in addition to winning the prestigious Manhattan Invitational.
Tuohy has volunteered locally on behalf of youth soccer and running programs, and the Rose Memorial Library.
“Katelyn Tuohy started the season smashing course records on hallowed distance-running grounds across New York State,” said Doug Binder, an editor for DyeStat.com. “Her freshman year in 2016 showed that she was on track to become a future star, but by the time she got to Nike Cross Nationals in Oregon this past December, she was in a class of her own. At 15, Tuohy is already well on her way to becoming, perhaps, the greatest girls distance runner in U.S. history.”
Tuohy has maintained an A average in the classroom. She will begin her junior year of high school this fall.
“It’s evident that Katelyn is deserving of recognition as the nation’s best high school girls cross country runner based on her numbers this season, in addition to the impact her accomplishments have had on North Rockland’s success,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager Brett O’Brien. “But she is also a fantastic example to peers and aspiring young athletes of what a leader and a student-athlete should be. She represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient.”
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Tuohy also has the opportunity to award a $1,000grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. She is also eligible to win one of twelve $10,000spotlight grants for her organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
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 high sports leadership team in partnership with 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.
Former notable Gatorade National Players of the Year include:
- Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning
- 2015 NBA first overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns
- Three-time WNBA champion Maya Moore
- Four-time track & field gold medalist Allyson Felix
- Three-time beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh
- Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw