• Athletics
Bednar ’22 Repeats as Gatorade N.J. Girls’ Cross Country Runner of the Year

Bednar ’22 Repeats as Gatorade N.J. Girls’ Cross Country Runner of the Year

In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Charlotte Bednar ’22 as its 2020-21 Gatorade New Jersey Girls’ Cross Country Player of the Year. The Fourth Former was honored with this award last year and is the first Gatorade New Jersey Girls’ Cross Country Player of the Year to be chosen from The Lawrenceville 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 Bednar as New Jersey’s best high school girls cross country player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls’ Cross Country Player of the Year award to be announced in April, Bednar joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports.

Running unattached, Bednar won the Holmdel Invitational this past season with a time of 17:21, the fastest clocking ever by a New Jersey high school runner on the historic course. The state’s returning Gatorade Girls’ Cross Country Player of the Year, Bednar (again running unattached) took second at the East Coast Championships in 17:46.7.

A talented pianist, Bednar has participated in Swim Across America and has volunteered locally on behalf of a soup kitchen, clothing drives and Ronald McDonald House Charities. “Charlotte has grown so much as an athlete in the past year,” said Lawrenceville girls’ cross country coach Katie Chaput. “Like all kids her age, she was unable to compete in the spring due to COVID. But instead of letting that stop her, she kept her head down and trained steadily over the spring and into the summer. When she had an opportunity to race this fall, she didn’t waste it.”

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 and  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 works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Bednar has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing. Bednar is also eligible to submit a 30-second video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of 12 $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $2.7 million across 1,117 organizations.

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.

For additional information, please contact Lisa M. Gillard Hanson, director of Public Relations, at lgillard@lawrenceville.org.