The 2022-23 Gatorade Wyoming Girls Cross County Player of the Year is Cheyenne Central’s Sydney Morrell.

Morrell earns her first Gatorade Award and is the second winner from Cheyenne Central High School.

In its 38th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company announced Morrell’s award on Monday in a press release. 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 Morrell as Wyoming’s best high school girls' cross-country runner.

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The 5-8 senior won the Class 4A state cross country championship race last fall in Ethete, WY with a time of 18:29.79. That helped Cheyenne Central win their second consecutive state title as a team. Morell also won the Horizon Invitational, the Arvada West Durden Invitational, the Thornton Invitational, and the LeRoy Sprague Invitational. She added a third-place finish at the Dave Sanders Invitational and placed 13th at the Liberty Bell Invitational, which are two elite events in Colorado. Morrell completed her season at the Nike Cross Nationals Northwest regional championships in Idaho and the Garmin RunningLane National Championships in Atlanta.

Morrell is now a finalist for the Gatorade National Cross County Player of the Year award which will be announced later this month. Wyoming had the national winner two years ago, which was Rawlins’ Sydney Thorvaldson.

The Central senior maintains a 3.89 weighted GPA in the classroom. She recently signed to run cross-country and track and field at Iowa State University.

Morrell has volunteered locally for the Health Promotions office at the F.E. Warren U.S. Air Force base, helping to create and distribute brochures about nutrition and healthy living. She has also donated her time cleaning houses for retirees in her neighborhood along with preparing and cleaning local Airbnb rentals. Morrell has been actively involved in tutoring for high school, junior high, and elementary school students, in addition to being a mentor at local youth soccer camps and clinics.

In the release from Gatorade, Eric Boal, an editor from DyeStat.com pointed out her great progression from her junior season to her senior season.

“Morrell not only helped Cheyenne Central secure back-to-back team championships, but she also benefited from the confidence gained via several strong, regular-season races in Colorado. She improved by nearly a minute at the state final from a year ago, elevating from fourth place in 2021 to capture the individual title.”

Being a Gatorade Player of the Year means paying it forward for the next generation. Through Gatorade’s Play It Forward initiative, every Player of the Year receives a grant to give to one of Gatorade’s social impact partners, supporting Gatorade’s ambition to fuel the future of sport. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants has totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.

Morrell joins Kate Brigham of Jackson (2021-22) and Sydney Thorvaldson from Rawlins (2020-21, 2019-20, 2018-19, & 2017-18) as recent Gatorade Wyoming Girls Cross County Player of the Year award winners.

*Information from a press release from the Gatorade Company was used in this story.

4A Girls Cross Country Championship

4A Girls Cross Country Championship

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