Gatorade has named West Morris Mendham High School senior Jack Stanley as its 2018-19 New Jersey Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.
The award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field.
The award puts Stanley as a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year award, to be announced later this month.
“Jack is extremely talented and courageous, and the best runner I’ve ever coached,” Mendham coach Roy Hamblen said. “He’s also the most unselfish runner I’ve coached. He’ll do whatever the team needs him to do, without question.”
Stanley joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Lukas Verzbicas (2010-11, 2009-10 Carl Sandburg, Orland Park High School, Ill.), Donn Cabral (2007-08, Glastonbury High School, Glastonbury, Conn.) and Chris Derrick (2007-08, Neuqua Valley High School, Naperville, Ill.).
The 5-foot-8, 135-pound senior won the Foot Locker Northeast Regional championships this past season with a time of 15:30.2. Stanley took seventh nationally at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships and 19th at the Nike Cross Nationals Final, earning All-American honors at both national title meets.
He broke the tape at the Group 3 state meet in 15:45 and crossed the line second at the Meet of Champions. Stanley won the Shore Coaches Invitational, the Morris County championships and the Bernie Magee Class Meet during the 2018 campaign.
Stanley has volunteered locally as an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America and has maintained a 3.80 GPA in the classroom. He will attend Princeton University this fall, where he will compete in cross country and track and field.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Stanley 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 twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.
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