Gatorade Honors Independence Athlete as Runner of the Year

Feb 11, 2015

Independence High School junior Carter Blunt has been named the 2014-15 Gatorade Texas Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.

Now in its 30th year, the Gatorade Player of the Year award honors top high school student-athletes in 12 varsity sports for their athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character.

Blunt won state championship titles in cross country in both 2013 and 2014, and won state championship titles in track in 2014 as well, including the 3200- and 1600-meter runs. He is the first runner in the state of Texas to win back-to-back individual titles for two different schools.

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.

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 Blunt as Texas’s best high school boys cross country runner.

Blunt has maintained a 3.61 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally on behalf of a middle school running program.

“Carter was the best runner in the state this year, not just because of talent, but because he works his tail off,” said Independence coach Manalas Petty. “He puts the right things in his body, trains smart and makes sacrifices that other students typically don’t.”