Gatorade names Liam Anderson National Cross Country Athlete of the Year

Neva Legallet

On Feb. 27, senior Liam Anderson was announced as Gatorade’s National Cross Country Athlete of the Year. That morning, Anderson was met by his teammates, friends and family in the CEA, where he was surprised with the honor by a representative from Gatorade.

Charlie Werner
Anderson, the Gatorade National Cross Country Runner of the year, with his trophy. The award is referred to as the highest honor in high school athletics.

His cross country season culminated with a record-breaking win at Nike Cross Nationals in November, where he made history as the first sub-15 minute finisher with a time of 14:57.60. Leading up to that, Anderson took first place at the Marin County Athletic League (MCAL) championship, the North Coast Section (NCS) Championship and the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) State Championship.

Gatorade’s award, however, honors him for more than his stellar athletic performances; it is also based on other qualities, namely academics and character.

“It represents a lot more than just running: it’s a testament to a lot of stuff I do outside of running, and I appreciate the recognition,” Anderson said.

Charlie Werner
Anderson’s coaches, Laura Schmitt and Jake Schmitt, have worked with him for all eight seasons of his high school career.

Anderson has volunteered with the Marin County Search and Rescue program for four years and is a certified Wilderness First Responder. He also participates in peer tutoring, where he works with freshmen as part of the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program. With a weighted GPA of 4.26, Anderson’s academic achievements also factored into this recognition.

A film crew followed Anderson for several days in preparation, and a video showcasing his training and extracurricular activities was released the afternoon of Feb. 27, which can be found here. After receiving the award, major news networks aired the video as well as interviews with Anderson, which he said made for an exciting, but busy week.

“It’s been a hectic week,” Anderson said. “Definitely a new experience; I’ve been on running media plenty of times but not so much on general mainstream stuff.”

Charlie Werner
Surrounded by teammates and friends, Anderson was the recipient of a trophy and banner displaying his name and the title.

With a National Letter of Intent to compete in cross country and track and field at Stanford University in the fall, Anderson will continue to make his mark in the running world through his college years.