For the fourth consecutive year, Sydney Thorvaldson from Rawlins High School is the Gatorade Wyoming Girls Cross Country Player of the Year.

Thorvaldson sweeps this specific accolade in her prep career. It is the sixth Gatorade honor for the Rawlins senior.

In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company announced Thorvaldson’s award on Thursday.

The state’s three-time returning Gatorade Girls Cross Country Player of the Year and a two-time Gatorade Wyoming Girls Track & Field Player of the Year, the 5-foot-4 senior won the Class 3A state meet this past season with a state-record time of 16:59.6. Thorvaldson broke the tape last fall more than two minutes and thirty seconds ahead of her next-closest competitor. She led the Outlaws to a fourth-place finish as a team. Thorvaldson also set a state prep 5K record in Colorado when she won the Heritage Distance Classic in 16:19.0. She also owns the fastest prep 5K mark in Idaho by virtue of her title-winning run at the Nike Cross Nationals Northwest Regional in 2019.

Thorvaldson is now a finalist for the Gatorade National Cross County Player of the Year award that will be announced later this month. Wyoming has never had a national winner.

The Rawlins senior maintains a 4.0 GPA and has signed her national letter of intent to run at the University of Arkansas this fall. She is a member of the student council and National Honor Society at RHS. Thorvaldson has also spent time volunteering on behalf of community beautification projects and as a teacher’s aide at her church.

In the release from Gatorade, Buffalo coach Sandy Moon praised Thorvaldson’s ability.

“I have watched Sydney run for four years for Rawlins, and I have been very impressed by her work ethic, her humility, and her athleticism. Sydney exemplifies everything that a coach wants in a runner. When I coached my girls through a race with Sydney, she shot out so fast that you would honestly forget that she was in the race.”

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 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,” Thorvaldson has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. Thorvaldson is also eligible to submit a 30-second video explaining why the organization she chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants has totaled more than $2.7 million across 1,117 organizations.

The most recent winner of this award not named Thorvaldson was Jackson’s Anna Gibson, who won the 2016-17 Gatorade Wyoming Cross County Player of the Year honor.

To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.playeroftheyear.gatorade.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.

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

Wyoming’s Cheapest Places to Live

Do you like money? Do you like not like spending it? Well then my friend, I have an internet list for you. Or friends at Homesnacks crunched a bunch of numbers to find the cheapest places in Wyoming to live.

The Homesnacks folks looked at US Census data and the cost of living for the area. "We were especially interested in home and rental prices in places with more than 1,000 residents," they say.

If you like small town living in the natural beauty of the wilds of Wyoming, you'll find plenty of ideas on this list.