Colin Sahlman Named 2021-22 Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Player Of The Year

NEWBURY PARK, Calif., Feb. 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s most elite high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Colin Sahlman of Newbury Park High School in Newbury Park, Calif. is the 2021-22 Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Player of the Year. Sahlman won the prestigious award for his accomplishments on and off the field, joining an impressive group of former Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Players of the Year who have combined for 19 National Championships.

Sahlman was surprised with the trophy by his family, coaches and teammates at school. Check out a video of the announcement here.

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 Sahlman as the nation’s best high school boys cross country player. The Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others to evaluate candidates, selected Sahlman from nearly 300,000 other student-athletes who compete in boys cross country nationwide.

Competition for the national award was fierce. Sahlman topped the list of state winners in boys cross country who collectively boast an incredible list of accomplishments, including 34 who joined two or more charitable organizations, 10 returning state Gatorade Players of the Year and 30 with a GPA of 4.0 and above.

Colin Sahlman proved to be the best runner on the best cross country team in U.S. history, but there’s a lot more to his season than that,” says Doug Binder, Dyestat.com Editor-in-Chief. “His near-record run at Woodward Park at the California state meet coupled with his victory at the RunningLane Championships against the best field of the year cemented him as the nation’s best. Newbury Park’s second and third guys were right there with him on that level, but Colin managed to hold them off.”

The 5-foot-11, 125-pound senior raced to the individual national title at the Garmin RunningLane Cross Country Championships this past season with a time of 14:03.3, the fastest 5K time in US prep history, while also leading the Panthers to a national championship as a team. The state’s returning Gatorade Player of the Year in boys cross country, Sahlman won the Division 1 state championship in 14:26.5, helping Newbury Park capture first place as a team. He also broke the tape at the Clovis Invitational, the Marmonte League finals and the Southern Section Championships.

Sahlman has volunteered locally feeding the homeless on behalf of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church. He has also donated his time as a coach for the Camarillo Cosmos Youth Track Program and as a counselor at the Mile High Running Camp in Big Bear.

Sahlman has maintained a 3.47 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to run on scholarship at Northern Arizona University this fall.

“Our prestigious Gatorade Player of the Year award tells the world who you are on and off the field and becomes a permanent part of your resume,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager Brett O’Brien. “It’s why we take the selection process so seriously, and why Colin Sahlman’s remarkable talents and character on the field, in the classroom and in his community make him the perfect fit.”

Each year, a selection committee evaluates the nation’s top talent to choose one state winner from each of the 50 states as well as Washington D.C., in 12 different sports: football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer, and boys and girls track & field. In all, 608 athletes are honored each year. From the pool of state winners, one national winner is selected in each of the 12 sports.

Gatorade has a long-standing history of serving athlete communities and understands how sports instill valuable lifelong skills on and off the field. 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. Previous winners include a distinguished list of athletes, such as Peyton Manning, Abby Wambach, Jayson Tatum, Elena Delle Donne and many other sports icons.

To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.

PREVIOUS GATORADE NATIONAL BOYS CROSS COUNTRY PLAYER OF THE YEAR WINNERS

YEAR

NAME

HOMETOWN

STATUS

2020-21

Parker Wolfe

Greenwood Village, CO

University of North Carolina

2019-20

Nico Young

Newbury Park, CA

Northern Arizona University

2018-19

Liam Anderson

Larkspur, CA

Stanford University

2017-18

Anthony Schwartz

Plantation, FL

Cleveland Browns

2016-17

Casey Clinger

American Fork, UT

Brigham Young University

2015-16

Andrew Hunter

Purcellville, VA

Tinman Elite

2014-15

Grant Fisher

Grand Blanc, MI

Nike

2013-14

Grant Fisher

Grand Blanc, MI

Nike

2012-13

Edward Cheserek

Newark, NJ

Skechers Performance

2011-12

Futsum Zeinasellassie

Indianapolis, IN

Ran for Northern Arizona University

2010-11

Lukas Verzbicas

Orland Park, IL

Ran for University of Oregon

2009-10

Lukas Verzbicas

Orland Park, IL

Ran for University of Oregon

2008-09

Reed Connor

The Woodlands, TX

Ran for University of Wisconsin

2007-08

Chris Derrick

Naperville, IL

Nike

About Gatorade
The Gatorade Company, a division of PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP), meets the needs of consumers who participate in sports and fitness, through brands that include Gatorade, Propel, Muscle Milk, and Evolve. The solutions they provide are driven by a deep understanding of the unique occasions and needs across athletic activity. Gatorade, their marquee brand, is underpinned by a 56-year history of studying the best athletes in the world, and sports nutrition research by the Gatorade Sport Science Institute, allowing it to provide scientifically formulated products that meet athletes’ needs both on and off the field. For more information and a full list of products, please visit www.gatorade.com.

About PepsiCo
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $79 billion in net revenue in 2021, driven by a complementary beverage and convenient foods portfolio that includes Lay’s, Doritos, Cheetos, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Quaker, and SodaStream. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including many iconic brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Beverages and Convenient Foods by Winning with PepsiCo Positive (pep+). pep+ is our strategic end-to-end transformation that puts sustainability at the center of how we will create value and growth by operating within planetary boundaries and inspiring positive change for planet and people. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.

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SOURCE Gatorade

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