Jackson’s Kate Brigham Wins Gatorade Wyoming Girls Cross Country Player of the Year Honor
The 2021-22 Gatorade Wyoming Girls Cross County Player of the Year is Kate Brigham from Jackson Hole High School.
Brigham earns her first Gatorade Award and is the second winner from Jackson.
In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company announced Brigham’s award on Monday in a press release. 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 Brigham as Wyoming’s best high school girls cross country runner.
The 5-11 senior won the Class 4A state cross country championship last fall in Ethete, WY with a course-record time of 18:38.15. She finished over 35 seconds ahead of the next runner. Brigham’s performance helped Jackson finish second in the team standings.
Brigham also took eighth at the Nike Cross Northwest Regional Championships in Idaho. She recorded a fifth-place finish at the Nike Hole in the Wall Invitational in Arlington, WA. Brigham ran that course in a personal-best time of 17:28.3, which was the top girls’ time in the state last fall by more than 50 seconds.
Brigham is now a finalist for the Gatorade National Cross County Player of the Year award that will be announced next month. Wyoming had last year’s national winner, which was Rawlins’ Sydney Thorvaldson.
The Jackson senior maintains a B average in the classroom. She has signed to run on scholarship next fall at the University of Colorado. Brigham was the founding member of the Walk or Dance Club, which provides a welcoming environment to new students at Jackson Hole High School. She has also volunteered locally as part of community beautification projects and at area ski races.
In the release from Gatorade, Laramie head coach Greg Schabron had high praise for Brigham.
“Kate is a very impressive runner. She runs a very smooth race and is confident in taking the lead when and where necessary. She has talent, but also came into the season fit and ready to go.”
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 works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Brigham has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing that helps young athletes realize the benefits of playing sports. Brigham is also eligible to submit a short 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 has totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.
Brigham joins Sydney Thorvaldson from Rawlins (2020-21, 2019-20, 2018-19, & 2017-18) and Jackson’s Anna Gibson (2016-17) as recent Gatorade Wyoming Girls Cross County Player of the Year award winners.
*Information from a press release from the Gatorade Company was used in this story.