Created: February 11, 2020 09:05 PM
PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Gatorade Company announced Tuesday Sam Lawler of Pittsford Mendon High School as its 2019-20 Gatorade New York Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.
Lawler is the first Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Pittsford Mendon High School.
The award recognizes outstanding athletic performance, as well as academic achievement and character on and off the field.
Lawler raced to the Class B individual state championship this past season with a time of 14:26.1, leading the Vikings to second place as a team. Lawler took second at the Nike Cross Nationals New York Regional championships in 15:55 and finished 16th at the national NXN Final, earning All-American honors in the process. He also won at the New York Federation Championships, the Section 5 championships and the McQuaid Invitational.
Lawler has volunteered locally on behalf of his school’s Interact Club, a community service club affiliated with Rotary International.
“From the moment Sam entered high school, incredible expectations have accompanied his every step,” Pittsford Mendon coach Chris Compson said. “He’s displayed a maturity well beyond his years, and despite all his individual accomplishments, he’s always been a consummate teammate.”
Lawler has maintained an A average in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in cross country and track and field on scholarship at Syracuse University 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 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.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Lawler has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
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