Patrick Anderson of Mt. Lebanon has been named the 2018-19 Gatorade Pennsylvania Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year. He is the first such recipient from Mt. Lebanon High School.
“It’s definitely quite a privilege to receive this award,” said Anderson. “It’s icing on the cake after a good cross country season and I think the season as a whole has given me a lot of confidence. Winning such a prestigious award and being on a list among many other talented athletes is an honor.”
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 Anderson as Pennsylvania’s best high school boys cross country runner. He is now a finalist for the national award to be announced later this month.
The 5-foot-8, 150-pound junior raced to the PIAA Class AAA individual state championship this past season with a time of 16:03. Anderson took sixth at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional championships and finished 29th at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships. Anderson also won the TSTCA Championship, the Marty Uher Invitational, the Kiski Area Invitational. He was the WPIAL runner-up.
A devoted member of his church community, Anderson has served on his school’s Link Crew and has participated in multiple service-mission trips to assist the needy. Academically, he maintains a 4.7 GPA.
“I’ve been coaching for 53 years and Patrick Anderson is the best all-around kid that I’ve had,” said Lebo coach Mike Agostinella. “We knew that he was going to be pretty good this year, and he ended up having a great season. He’s a very, very aggressive runner and he’s really developed a lot of confidence.”
In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company’s 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. It also 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,” Anderson 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 12 $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.