CHICAGO — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Henry Farrington of Essex High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Vermont Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year. Farrington is the first Gatorade Vermont Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Essex 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 field, distinguishes Farrington as Vermont’s best high school boys cross country runner. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year award to be announced in February, Farrington joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Lukas Verzbicas (2010-11, 2009-10 Carl Sandburg High School, 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-10, 145-pound junior raced to the Division 1 individual state championship this past season with a time of 16:35.6, leading the Hornets to the state title as a team. Farrington also posted victories at the Essex Invitational and the NVAC Championship, while placing second at the Woods Trail
Run and third at the Burnt Hills Invitational. He was the state’s top finisher at the New England Cross Country Championships, crossing the line 13th, and took 14th at the Nike Cross Nationals Northeast Regional championships.

A member of his school’s student government, Farrington has served as a mentor for younger students and has volunteered locally on behalf of the Essex Fire Department. “Henry wants to be one of the top runners in the Northeast and he’s starting to show that he is,” said Essex coach Eric Langevin. “He really progressed this year and learned from mistakes of the past. He came into the season wanting to be undefeated in Vermont and he did just that.”

Farrington has maintained a B average in the classroom. He will begin his senior year of high school 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. 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.

Farrington joins Gatorade Vermont Boys Cross Country Runners of the Year Stephen Looke (2017-18, U-32 High School), Tyler Marshall (2016-17, Champlain Valley Union High School), Matt Hynes (2015-16, Montpelier High School), and Sam Nishi (2014-15 & 2013-14, Harwood Union High School) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007. As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Farrington 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. To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.