Contact: Julie Mason (412-561-1014)


CHICAGO (January 21, 2010) — In its 25th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced Toby Bothwell of Westmoore High School as its 2009-10 Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year. Bothwell is the first Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Westmoore 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 Bothwell as Oklahoma’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, Bothwell 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-10 senior distance runner captured second place at the Arkansas/Oklahoma All-Star Cross Country Meet this past season with a time of 16:19.84. A two-time First Team All-City selection as named by The Oklahoman, Bothwell placed second at the Class 6A state meet in 16:13.22, leading the Jaguars to 12th place. He finished 37th at the Nike Cross Nationals South Regional in 17:05.8. Bothwell also won the Edmond Santa Fe Invitational, the Edmond DogPack and the Oklahoma Baptist University Bison Cross Country Invitational in addition to placing fourth at the Oklahoma State University Cowboy Jamboree this past fall. He finished third at the 2008 Class 6A state meet as a junior.

Bothwell has maintained a 4.77 weighted GPA in the classroom, scored a perfect 36 on the ACT and ranks No. 1 in his class. A member of his school’s National Honor Society and Key Club International chapters, he has volunteered weekly at the Christmas Connection homeless shelter and as a youth athletic instructor. An accomplished French horn performer, Bothwell has also donated his time at a local medical clinic, as a fundraiser on behalf of the Westmoore High athletic program and as a peer tutor.

"As far as I’m concerned, he’s the best runner in the state, and he was consistent," said Suzy Rojas, head coach of rival Norman High. "He was the most consistent from the beginning of the season to the end, and he improved a lot. Besides his obvious ability, I know how he carries himself. I saw him in a really, really competitive race against three All-Staters, and you could see the way he reacted afterward with his opponents. He’s always the first one to extend himself, and win or lose he’s consistent in the way he responds to his opponents."

Bothwell 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 ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, 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.

Bothwell joins Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Cross Country Runners of the Year Taylor Monaghan (2008-09, Union) and Steven Baker (2007-08, Union) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007.

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