North Platte HS Runner Earns Nebraska's Top Accolade - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

North Platte HS Runner Earns Nebraska's Top Accolade

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North Platte High School Standout named GATORADE Nebraska Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year

CHICAGO (January 16, 2014) — In its 29th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Wyatt McGuire of North Platte High School as its 2013-14 Gatorade Nebraska Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.  McGuire is the first Gatorade Nebraska Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from North Platte 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 racecourse, distinguishes McGuire as Nebraska's best high school boys cross country runner.  Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year award to be announced in January, McGuire joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Ryan Hall (1999-00, 2000-01, Big Bear HS, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Kevin Garnett (1992-93, Maudlin HS, S.C.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.) and Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.).

The 5-foot-11, 130-pound senior raced to the Class A individual state championship this past season with a time of 15:26.6, earning the state's fastest all-class time in 2013. A two-time First Team All-State selection, McGuire also won the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference meet, crossing the line in 15:15, and the Class A District 2 meet with a time of 16:02.73.

McGuire has maintained a 4.0 GPA and is ranked first in his graduating class. A member of the National Honor Society and a percussionist in his school's concert band, he has volunteered locally on behalf of Habitat for Humanity.

"Wyatt McGuire is a leader and an exceptional young man," said North Platte High head coach Dennis Forander. "His work ethic and dedication to the sport and his community is unmatched."

McGuire remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.

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 school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, 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.

McGuire joins Gatorade Nebraska Boys Cross Country Runners of the Year Joe Harter (2012-13, Millard West High School), Jacob Olson (2011-12 & 2010-11, Kearney High School), Jarren Heng (2009-10 & 2008-09, Norfolk Catholic), and Jon Ronhovde (2007-08, Fremont) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007.

To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit www.gatorade.com/poy.

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