Adam Wise of Fontainebleau named Gatorade Louisiana Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year

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CHICAGO — In its 33rd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Adam Wise of Fontainebleau High School as its 2017-18 Gatorade Louisiana Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year. Wise is the first Gatorade Louisiana Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Fontainebleau 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 Wise as Louisiana’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 January, Wise joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Lukas Verzbicas (2010-11, 2009-10 Carl Sandburg, Orland Park, Ill.), Megan Goethals (2009-10, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Mich.), Jordan Hasay (2008-09, Mission College Prep., San Luis Obispo, Calif.), Donn Cabral (2007-08, Glastonbury High School, Glastonbury, Conn.) and Chris Derrick (2007-08, Neuqua Valley, Naperville, Ill.).

The 5-foot-6, 135-pound senior broke the tape LHSAA State 5A XC Championships this past season with a time of 15:20.56, crossing the line 22 seconds ahead of his next-closest competitor on the 3-mile course and leading the Bulldogs to ninth-place as a team. A four-time All-State selection, Wise went undefeated on the season, including a win at the MC Watson Ford Invitational in Mississippi, clocking a 15:59.24 over 5K.

A member of the St. Jane de Chantal Catholic Church, Wise has volunteered locally with Best Buddies, which promotes understanding and friendship with students who have learning differences. He has also donated his time to multiple community service initiatives in association with having earned his Eagle Scout badge with the Boys Scouts of America. “Adam’s individual successes have come through hard work, determination and perseverance, and he propelled the team to a state title,” said Fontainebleau head coach Leonard Tridico. “He is regarded as one of the top cross country competitors in the South and he’s the fastest, most decorated distance runner in school history. I’m proud to have coached him.”

Wise has maintained a weighted 4.5 GPA in the classroom. He remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.

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 Player of the Year Selection Committee, 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.

Wise joins Gatorade Louisiana Boys Cross Country Runners of the Year Eric Coston (2016-17, St. Paul’s School), Devyn Keith (2015-16 & 2014-15, John Curtis Christian School), Zachary Albright (2013-14, Saint Paul’s School), Enrique Soto (2012-13, Lakeside High School), Cole Stafford (2011-12, Catholic High School), Matthew Rice (2010-11, Runnels High School), Philip Primeaux (2009-10 & 2008-09, Catholic), and Philipp Goettert (2007-08, Baton Rouge Magnet) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007.

As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Wise will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.

To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow the conversation on Twitter #GatoradePOY. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit http://playeroftheyear.gatorade.com/.

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