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      North Platte HS Runner Earns Nebraska's Top Accolade

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      North Platte HighSchool Standout named GATORADE Nebraska Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year

      CHICAGO (January16, 2014) -- In its 29th year of honoring the nation's best highschool athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY HighSchool Sports, today announced Wyatt McGuire of North Platte High School asits 2013-14 Gatorade Nebraska Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year. McGuire is the first Gatorade Nebraska Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year tobe chosen from North Platte High School.

      Theaward, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also highstandards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on andoff the racecourse, distinguishes McGuire as Nebraska's best high school boyscross country runner. Now a finalist for the prestigious GatoradeNational Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year award to be announced inJanuary, McGuire joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winnersin 12 sports, including Ryan Hall (1999-00, 2000-01, Big Bear HS, Calif.),Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, NapervilleCentral 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.).

      The5-foot-11, 130-pound senior raced to the Class A individual state championshipthis past season with a time of 15:26.6, earning the state's fastest all-classtime in 2013. A two-time First Team All-State selection, McGuire also won theGreater Nebraska Athletic Conference meet, crossing the line in 15:15, and theClass A District 2 meet with a time of 16:02.73.

      McGuirehas maintained a 4.0 GPA and is ranked first in his graduating class. A memberof the National Honor Society and a percussionist in his school's concert band,he has volunteered locally on behalf of Habitat for Humanity.

      "WyattMcGuire is a leader and an exceptional young man," said North Platte High headcoach Dennis Forander. "His work ethic and dedication to the sport and hiscommunity is unmatched."

      McGuireremains undecided upon a collegiate destination.

      TheGatorade Player of the Yearprogram annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each ofthe 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys andgirls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball,softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Playerof the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by theGatorade 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 ofaccomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners ineach sport.

      McGuirejoins Gatorade Nebraska Boys Cross Country Runners of the Year Joe Harter (2012-13,Millard West High School), Jacob Olson (2011-12 & 2010-11, Kearney HighSchool), Jarren Heng (2009-10 & 2008-09, Norfolk Catholic), and JonRonhovde (2007-08, Fremont) as athletes who have won the cross country awardsince its inception in 2007.

      To keep up to date on the latest happenings,become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us onTwitter. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, includingnomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement ofthe Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit www.gatorade.com/poy.

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