Gatorade® National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year: Grant Fisher - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Gatorade® National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year: Grant Fisher

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SOURCE Gatorade

Professional Distance Runner Dathan Ritzenhein Surprises Standout with Elite Honor

GRAND BLANC, Mich., Jan. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In its 29th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, recently announced Grant Fisher of Grand Blanc High School (Grand Blanc, Mich.) as its 2013-14 Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year. Fisher was surprised with the news at school by three-time USA 12K Cross Country champion Dathan Ritzenhein, who earned Gatorade Michigan Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year honors in 1999-00 and 2000-01.

"It felt great to surprise Grant with the Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year award and welcome him into one of the most prestigious legacy programs in high school sports," said Ritzenhein. "Gatorade has been on the sidelines fueling athletic performance for years, so to be recognized by a brand that understands the game and truly helps athletes perform is a huge honor for these kids."

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 Fisher as the nation's best high school boys cross country runner.  A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Fisher from nearly 250,000 high school football players nationwide. Fisher is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special afternoon ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

The 5-foot-8, 135-pound junior raced to the national title this past season with a time of 15:07 at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships. Fisher won the Division 1 state title in 15:13.7 and captured the Foot Locker Midwest Regional championship in 15:02. He was also first at the Portage Invitational, the Jackson Invitational, the Nike/Holly/Duane Raffin Festival of Races, the KLAA Lakes Conference Championships and the Regional Championships.

Also receiving All-State Honorable Mention recognition in soccer this past fall, Fisher has maintained a 3.95 GPA in the classroom. A peer tutor in his school, he has volunteered locally on behalf of a winter coat drive and youth sports programs. 

"Above all else, the name of the game in cross country is to win and that's all Grant Fisher did on the way to winning the Foot Locker title," said Doug Binder, Editor-in-chief of Dyestat.com. "Of all the top guys in the country, he's the only one that went undefeated. With the national championship on the line, he was able to pull something out of reserve and get the job done. Grant matured by leaps and bounds as a distance runner last fall and I think we're going to hear a lot more from him in the spring."

Fisher will begin his senior year of high school this fall.

"Without question, Grant is deserving of recognition as the nation's best high school boys cross country runner based on his statistics on the field and the impact his accomplishments have had on Grand Blanc's success," said Gatorade Vice President, Brand Marketing Morgan Flatley.  "But he is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young athletes of what a leader and a student-athlete should be.  He represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient."

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 USA TODAY High School Sports and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, 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
  • WNBA all-time leading scorer and rebounder Lisa Leslie
  • NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith
  • Kansas City Royals Cy Young award-winner Zach Grienke

For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of former winners, and future announcement dates, visit the Gatorade Player of the Year Web site at http://playeroftheyear.gatorade.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.

ALL-TIME GATORADE NATIONAL BOYS CROSS COUNTRY RUNNERS OF THE YEAR


YEAR

NAME

HIGH SCHOOL

STATUS

2013-14 

2012-13

2011-12  

2010-11

2009-10

Grant Fisher

Edward Cheserek

Futsum Zeinasellassie    

Lukas Verzbicas

Lukas Verzbicas

Grand Blanc/Grand Blanc, MI

St. Benedict's/Newark, NJ

North Central/Indianapolis, IN

Carl Sandburg/Orland Park, IL

Carl Sandburg/Orland Park, IL

High School Junior

University of Oregon

Northern Arizona University

Professional Triathlete

Professional Triathlete

2008-09

2007-08

Reed Connor

Chris Derrick

The Woodlands/The Woodlands, TX

Neuqua Valley/Naperville, IL

University of Wisconsin

Stanford University Grad.

About Gatorade
The Gatorade Company, a division of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), provides sports performance innovations designed to meet the needs of athletes at all competitive levels and across a broad range of sports. Gatorade Thirst Quencher® is backed by more than 40 years of research and is scientifically formulated and athletically proven to quench thirst, replace fluids and electrolytes, and provide carbohydrate energy to enhance athletic performance. The company's product portfolio is built around the G Series™, a 1-2-3 approach to athlete nutrition and hydration before (Gatorade Prime 01™), during (Gatorade® Perform 02 and G2® Perform 02), and after (Gatorade Recover 03™) training or competition. For more information, please visit www.gatorade.com

About PepsiCo
PepsiCo offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 18 different product lines that each generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales.  Our main businesses – Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade – also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in over 200 countries.  With more than $43 billion in 2008 revenues, PepsiCo employs 198,000 people who are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose.  By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide.  For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.

About USA TODAY Sports Media Group
The USA TODAY Sports Media Group encompasses all sports initiatives across USA TODAY Sports and Gannett's more than 100 well-known local media brands. It also includes the sports photography wire service USA TODAY Sports Images, USA TODAY High School Sports and the hundreds of sites within USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties such as thebiglead.com and mixed martial arts site MMAjunkie.com, among others. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI).

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