For the third straight year, Rawlins High School star Sydney Thorvaldson has been chosen as the 2019-20 Gatorade Wyoming Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year.

She’s the state’s two-time returning Gatorade Runner of the Year. The junior won the Nike Cross Nationals Northwest Regional for a second consecutive year with a record time of 16:50.6. That was 15.2 seconds faster than the next runner. Thorvaldson earned All-America honors with a narrow third-place finish at the Nike Cross Nationals Finals, just one second back of the winner. She also won the Class 3A State Championship with a course-record time of 17:32.7. That helped Rawlins finish fifth in the team standings.

The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field.

Thorvaldson maintains a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. She is a member of the Rawlins High School student council and National Honor Society. She’s volunteered on behalf of community beautification projects and is a teacher’s aide at her church.

Pine Bluffs’ head coach Ashley Rousseau said in a release from Gatorade,

“I have watched Sydney run since she was in seventh grade. It has been fantastic to see her grow and improve year after year. Sydney has a passion for the sport. No one likes running, but this girl does.”

Now a three-time winner, Thorvaldson is a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year honor. That will be announced in February.

She also has an opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform, “Play it Forward.” Thorvaldson also has an option to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of her choice. Those are 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 and field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.

For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, find past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.

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