Gatorade XC Player Of The Year Addison Ritzenhein Suprised With Award Presented By Katelyn Tuohy

Just a high school sophmore, Ritzenhein already has a national title to her name

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In its 39th year of recognizing outstanding high school athletes, Gatorade proudly announces Addison Ritzenhein of Niwot High School in Niwot, Colorado, as the 2023-24 Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Player of the Year. 

Ritzenhein’s remarkable achievements on the cross country course have earned her this prestigious honor, placing her among an illustrious group of former Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Players of the Year.

Gatorade XC Player Of The Year Addison Ritzenhein Suprised With Award Presented By Katelyn Tuohy 1
Photo Credit: Joe Greer/Gatorade

Ritzenhein, a sophomore, emerged victorious from a pool of over 300,000 student-athletes participating in high school girls’ cross country nationwide. The daughter of Olympic distance runner Dathan Ritzenhein, Addison continues the family legacy of athletic excellence.

To make the award presentation even more memorable, NCAA champion and four-time Gatorade National Player of the Year Katelyn Tuohy surprised Ritzenhein with the trophy at her school. 

The surprise took place on the outdoor track, where Ritzenhein was joined by her teammates and family. The unexpected moment captured the incredible essence and atmosphere of Ritzenhein’s Gatorade Player of the Year achievement.

The Gatorade Player of the Year Program, with nearly 40 years of history, recognizes young athletes on their path to greatness. Michael Del Pozzo, Gatorade president and general manager, highlighted the incredible legacy that Addison Ritzenhein is expected to leave behind.

Gatorade XC Player Of The Year Addison Ritzenhein Suprised With Award Presented By Katelyn Tuohy 2
Photo Credit: Joe Greer/Gatorade

Beyond her dominance on the cross-country course, Ritzenhein excels as a leader in the classroom and in her community. She is a member of the Niwot High School Leadership Academy, a Student Aide at her school, and actively contributes to her community through volunteering.

Rich Gonzalez, PrepCal Track editor, commended Ritzenhein’s outstanding performance throughout the 2023 season, emphasizing her strategic racing and achievements on challenging Colorado courses at altitude

Despite being only a sophomore, Ritzenhein demonstrated exceptional racing skills, securing victory in high-stakes competitions like the Nike Cross Nationals (NXN) Final.

As part of Gatorade’s commitment to removing barriers in sports, Ritzenhein will receive a grant to donate to a social impact partner of her choice.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program has already provided more than $4.9 million in grants to winners across over 1,900 organizations.

Gatorade XC Player Of The Year Addison Ritzenhein Suprised With Award Presented By Katelyn Tuohy 3
Photo Credit: Joe Greer/Gatorade

To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, explore past winners, or nominate student-athletes, visit the website here.

Addison Ritzenhein’s sophomore season, capped by her being named the Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Player of the Year, highlights her potential, talent, and the support she receives from her community and mentors like Katelyn Tuohy. 

Her journey continues as she sets her sights on future competitions, with most of her excitment and focus being on the outdoor track season.

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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