In its 36th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Parker Wolfe of Cherry Creek High School as its 2020-21 Gatorade Colorado Boys Cross Country Player of the Year. Wolfe is the first Gatorade Colorado Boys Cross Country Player of the Year to be chosen from Cherry Creek 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 Wolfe as Colorado's best high school boys cross country player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Player of the Year award to be announced in April, Wolfe 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-7, 125-pound senior raced to the Class 5A individual state championship this past season with a course record time of 15:10.4. Wolfe won the RunningLane National Championships, breaking the tape in 14:26.94. He added victories at the Region 1 championships, the Heritage Distance Classic and the Centennial League Warrior 5K.
A member of his school's DECA club, Wolfe has volunteered locally on behalf of Warren Village, which provides assistance for low-income, single-parent families. "Parker has taken about 30 seconds off his 5K time every year because of his constant dedication and focus," said Cherry Creek coach Ethan Dusto. "He's amazing at doing all the little things correctly, and does a great job of staying humble and being part of the team."
Wolfe has maintained a 3.86 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in cross country and track and field on scholarship at the University of North Carolina 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, 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.
Wolfe joins recent Gatorade Colorado Boys Cross Country Players of the Year Cole Sprout (2019-20, 2018-19 & 2017- 18, Valor Christian High School), and Tanner Norman (2016-17, The Classical Academy), among the state's list of former award winners.
Through Gatorade's cause marketing platform "Play it Forward," Wolfe has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing. Wolfe 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,
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