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Loomis Chaffee School Student-Athlete Named Gatorade Connecticut Boys Cross Country Runner of The Year

Created at 2/11/2019 1:08 PM  by Ron Knapp 
Last modified at 2/11/2019 1:08 PM  by Ron Knapp 


CHICAGO (February 11, 2019) — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Matthew Farrell of Loomis Chaffee School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Connecticut Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year. Farrell is the first Gatorade Connecticut Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Loomis Chaffee 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 Farrell as Connecticut’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 February, Farrell joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Lukas Verzbicas (2010-11, 2009-10 Carl Sandburg, Orland Park High School, Ill.), Donn Cabral (2007-08, Glastonbury High School, Glastonbury, Conn.) and Chris Derrick (2007-08, Neuqua Valley High School, Naperville, Ill.).

The 5-foot-10, 120-pound junior raced to the New England Prep School Track Association championship this past season with a time of 15:42. Farrell took eighth at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional championships and finished 23rd nationally at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships. He also broke the tape at the Canterbury Invitational and the Founders League championships.

A devoted member of his church community, Farrell has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics. “Matt has been the fastest runner in our program since he arrived as a freshman,” said Loomis Chaffee coach Sally Knight. “He gives meticulous attention to every aspect of his training and racing. His self-discipline and commitment to his goals extends well beyond those of his peers.”

Farrell has maintained a B average in the classroom. He will begin his senior year of high school this fall.

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. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.

Farrell joins Gatorade Connecticut Boys Cross Country Runners of the Year Drew Thompson (2017-18, Fairfield College Preparatory School), Zakeer Ahmad (2016-17, Staples High School), Eric van der Els (2015-16, Brien McMahon High School), and Alex Ostberg (2014-15 & 2013-14, Darien High School) as athletes who have won the cross-country award since its inception in 2007.

As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Farrell has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.

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.

To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit, on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at .

Contact: Kisa Mugwanya (312-729-3670) -


Matthew Farrell

Matthew Farrell [#19-white singlet] (Glastonbury CT- Loomis Chaffee) finishing 8th at the 2018 Footlocker Northeast Cross Country Championship. Photo (c)

Editor’s Note: Previous Connecticut Gatorade POY athletes not previously mentioned include Henry Wynne (2012-13, Staples High School), Connor Rog (2011-12 & 2010-11, Fairfield College Preparatory School), John Raneri (2009-10 & 2008-09, New Fairfield), and Donn Cabral (2007-08, Glastonbury).