* Katelyn Tuohy won her fifth Gatorade National or Athlete Player of the Year honor on Thursday
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Thursday marked the fifth time over Katelyn Tuohy's incredibly distinguished career that she won a Gatorade National Player of the Year honor.
The fifth time.
On top of that, she became just the second three-peat winner in Gatorade Player of the Year history, joining Marion Jones.
But there's always a surprise, and today, she was met with it.
The North Rockland (NY) High School senior walked into a meeting to discuss her team's performance in the Section 1 Class A Championships, surrounded by coaches and teammates.
Soon enough, there was a realization that something was amiss ...
A confetti cannon blasted tiny little colorful pieces everywhere. A Gatorade film crew awaited.
"To be honest, it kind of scared me," Tuohy said.
But then she kew. It was time again.
"It means a lot," Tuohy said of her third straight Gatorade National Cross Country Player of the Year honor. "Especially since it's my senior year. I was really happy to finish my high school cross country career as a three-time NXN champion and win my third Gatorade Player of the Year award."
It was enough to take a breath, a beat. So many memories.
"I put so much time and effort over the season and over my career," Tuohy said, reflecting back on her career. "I've worked hard with my teammates. It means a lot."
Tuohy's final high school cross country season saw her complete a run of three straight seasons undefeated -- a record that simply has been unmatched. Her last loss, in fact, came on December 3rd of 2016 at Nike Cross Nationals, when she was a freshman and finished 13th overall.
From that point forward, Tuohy won a total of 30 races to finish out her career. She then claimed her third straight national title just three three years later, winning another Nike Cross Nationals title in a time of 17:18.40.
And in doing so, she showed an effort unlike any before, negotiating a last-ditch kick to win.
Elsewhere, she scored three-peats at NXR New York and the New York State Championships, and she was a two-time winner at the New York Federation Championships.
"Nothing Katelyn does anymore could surprise me," said Brian Diglio, North Rockland High School's head girls cross country coach. "And then she does. I think that what she was able to accomplish these past three years has been nothing short of extraordinary.
"When you add in the pressure of having to live up to incredibly high expectations to the equation, it makes these three titles even more remarkable. I am, was, and always will be incredibly proud to have been her cross country coach."
"Very blessed and lucky to have been a part of her journey," added Kyle Murphy, who's Katelyn's track and field distance coach.
In October of this year, she posted a season-best 5K of 16:22.80, a US No. 2 mark which was her eighth effort under 17 minutes across her career. She won the Eastern Championships race at the Manhattan Championships for the first time since 2016.
* Katelyn Tuohy during Gatorade's Athlete of the Year banquet in 2019
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On top of all those wins, Tuohy has always been one for firsts.
In 2018, as a high school sophomore, she became the first underclassmen to win Gatorade's National Cross Country Player of the Year honor. A few months later, she became the first double-winner over a single season, earning another win in track and field.
Then, just a few weeks after that, she was named Gatorade's Athlete of the Year for her accomplishments across both sports.
In 2019, she scooped up her second National POY recognition, becoming the first two-time winner in cross country in Gatorade's history.
And then on Thursday, she became the first three-peat winner in cross country -- which was historic in another way. Not even the likes of LeBron James, or Candace Parker or Sydney McLaughlin have earned three National Player of the Year honors.
In fact, only one other athlete in Gatorade's awards history has won three National POY awards: Marion Jones did exactly that from 1990-1992.
Still remaining is the finish line for her last indoor season, then her last outdoor track and field season. She said on Thursday she isn't sure if she'll attempt to go for an Olympic qualifier in the 5K at Boston University on February 28.
First up this weekend is a 4x800 with North Rockland at the Millrose Games.
Then she says she's focusing on her last state championships, where her focus will be decided in the coming weeks. On Wednesday, she ran the 1K, 1,500m and 3K at her Section Championships. Tuohy said she'll also compete in the DMR at New Balance Nationals Indoor.
Looking ahead to her collegiate future, she remains excited.
Tuohy will room at North Carolina State with a fellow New Yorker, Jenna Schulz (Liverpool).
"I got to know the girls through social media," she said. "We've been talking. I know some of them from racing. We all have the same mindset. We want to achieve the same things. I'm excited to move and have a great four years of college at NC State."
And then, eventually, Tuohy's next adventure will begin.
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A LOOK BACK
2018: Gatorade National Cross Country Player of the Year
2018: Gatorade National Player of the Year (Track and Field)
2018: Gatorade National Athlete of the Year (All Sports)
2019: Gatorade National Cross Country Player of the Year
2020: Gatorade National Cross Country Player of the Year
Gatorade National Cross Country Player Of The Year Winners Since 2007:
- 2019: Katelyn Tuohy, North Rockland (NY), NXN
- 2018: Katelyn Tuohy, North Rockland (NY), NXN
- 2017: Katelyn Tuohy, North Rockland (NY), NXN
- 2016: Brie Oakley, Grandview (CO), NXN
- 2015: Katie Rainsberger, Air Academy (CO), NXN
- 2014: Anna Rohrer, Mishawaka (IN), Foot Locker Nationals
- 2013: Alexa Efraimson, Camas (WA), NXN
- 2012: Sarah Baxter, Simi Valley (CA), NXN
- 2011: Molly Seidel, University Lake, Foot Locker Nationals
- 2010: Aisling Cuffe, Cornwall (NY), Foot Locker Nationals
- 2009: Megan Goethals, Rochester (WA), Foot Locker Nationals
- 2008: Jordan Hasay, Mission College Prep (CA), Foot Locker Nationals
- 2007: Ashley Brasovan, Wellington (FL), Foot Locker Nationals
- 2019, Previous: Katelyn Tuohy wins her second Gatorade National XC Player of the Year honor
- 2018: Previous: Katelyn Tuohy wins National Gatorade Player of the Year honor (all sports)
- 2018, Previous: Katelyn Tuohy wins her first Gatorade National XC Player of the Year honor
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- Tuohy finishes second to Cuffe at USATF XC Club Championships
- Katelyn Tuohy's will to win was on full display at NXN
- Tuohy holds on to win third straight NXN
- Workout Wednesday: Katelyn Tuohy Mile Repeats