CHICAGO (January 15, 2015) — In its 30th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Reilly Friedman of The Galloway School as its 2014-15 Gatorade Georgia Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year. Friedman is the first Gatorade Georgia Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from The Galloway 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 Friedman as Georgia’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, Friedman 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, 135-pound senior raced to a third consecutive Class A private schools individual state championship with a time of 15:52.43 this past season, leading the Scots to third place as a team. Also the Runner of the Year as named by the Atlanta Track Club, Friedman took sixth at the Nike Cross Nationals Southeast Regional championships in 15:05.10, and then finished 28th at the NXN Final, clocking a 15:52. In addition to finishing unbeaten against Georgia prep cross country competitors in 2014, he broke the tape at the 14:48.20 at Alexander High’s Asics Invitational, which ranked as the state’s fastest 5K of the season.
Friedman has maintained a 3.09 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered on behalf of the Boy Scouts of America and the Northside Youth Organization’s Christopher League for physically and mentally challenged children.
“Obviously, Reilly is a talented runner. His times alone indicate that,” said Matt Eisenman, head track coach of rival The Walker School. “I often use Reilly as an example when talking to my team about getting out what you put in. Not only does he practice with full effort every time, but he goes—pun intended—the extra mile. I have often seen Reilly after practice at the running path by the river putting in extra miles. He is the best example I have seen of natural talent mixed with an unyielding dedication to the hard work necessary to be elite.”
Friedman has verbally committed to an athletic scholarship at the University of Colorado beginning 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 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.
Friedman joins Gatorade Georgia Boys Cross Country Runners of the Year Austin Sprague (2013-14, St. Pius X Catholic High School), Josh Brickell (2012-13 & 2011-12, Peachtree Ridge High School), Cody Barger (2010-11, North Hall High School), Kirubel Erassa (2009-10, Grayson), Taylor Lord (2008-09, Chapel Hill), and Zack Flickinger (2007-08, Lassiter) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007.
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