West Carteret Runner Earns Gatorade Track Award For North Carolina


CHICAGO— In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, has named John Crossley of West Carteret High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade North Carolina Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Crossley is the first Gatorade North Carolina Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from West Carteret 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 track, distinguishes Crossley as North Carolina’s best high school boys track & field athlete.

The 6-foot, 150-pound senior won the New Balance Nationals Outdoor championship in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:48:01, which ranked as the nation’s No. 2 performance among prep competitors in 2013 at the time of his selection. Crossley also won the 800 with a time of 1:54.14 and the 1600 in 4:21.25 at the Class 3A state championship meet this spring.

Crossley has maintained a 3.92 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics, a soup kitchen and a pet-adoption agency.

“John has matured into the most well-rounded, elite distance runner I’ve ever coached,” said Shelton Mayo, West Carteret cross country coach. “He’s showed dedication, leadership and character.”

Crossley has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in cross country and track and field on an athletic scholarship at East Carolina University 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.

Crossley joins recent Gatorade North Carolina Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year Craig Engels (2011-12, Ronald Reagan), Eric Winfrey (2010–11, Douglas Byrd), Isaac Presson (2009-10, Asheville), Wayne Davis (2008–09, Southeast Raleigh), Dylan Ferris (2007-08, East Forsyth), and Johnny Dutch (2006-2007, Clayton) among the state’s list of former award winners.

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