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January 24, 2022
Katelynn Dollar of Lyndon Academy is the 2021-22 Gatorade Georgia Girls Cross Country Player of the Year
Lyndon Academy Student-Athlete Named
Gatorade Georgia Girls Cross Country Player of the Year
(January 24, 2022) — In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced
Katelynn Dollar of Lyndon Academy
2021-22 Gatorade Georgia Girls Cross Country Player of the Year
. Dollar is the first Gatorade Georgia Girls Cross Country Player of the Year to be chosen from Lyndon Academy.
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 Dollar as Georgia’s best high school girls cross country player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Player of the Year award to be announced in February, Dollar joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Lukas Verzbicas (2010-11 & 2009-10, Carl Sandburg High School, Orland Park, Ill.), Megan Goethals (2009-10, Rochester High School, Rochester Hills, Mich.), Jordan Hasay (2008-09, Mission College Preparatory Catholic High School, San Luis Obispo, Calif.) and Chris Derrick (2007-08, Neuqua Valley High School, Naperville, Ill.).
The 5-foot-2 sophomore distance talent led the Terriers to the GAPPS Division 1 state title this past season, breaking the tape with a time of 19:06.50. Dollar also won the Georgia HS Meet of Champions and set a 5K personal-best (17:30.58) by finishing 49th in the Gold Race at the national RunningLane Cross Country Championships—the fastest 5K time by a Georgia girl in 2021. The state’s top finisher at both the Eastbay South Regional (formerly the Foot Locker South) and the RunningLane championships, she was a Second Team All-Metro selection by the Atlanta Track Club.
A member of Beta Club, an educational youth organization, Dollar has volunteered locally as part of feed-the-hungry initiatives and has donated her time to assisting the children’s service at her church. Also a peer tutor, she has participated in cleanup days for area athletic fields and has served as a coach for youth track athletes. “Katelynn Dollar is the obvious choice for the award this year,” said St. Pius X Catholic head coach Ryan McClay. “I was incredibly impressed with her performances at the top national meets. She really showed up and put herself in the mix with some really fast girls and raced them very well.”
Dollar has maintained a 3.98 GPA in the classroom. She will begin her junior year of high school this fall.
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 leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.
Dollar joins recent Gatorade Georgia Girls Cross Country Players of the Year Mary Brady (2020-21, St. Pius X Catholic High School), Hannah Miniutti (2019-20, Blessed Trinity Catholic High School), Ellie Hall (2018-19, Marietta High School), and Elizabeth Funderburk (2017-18, Colquitt County High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Gatorade has a long-standing history of serving athlete communities and understands how sports instill valuable lifelong skills on and off the field. Through Gatorade’s “Play it Forward” platform, Dollar has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national organization of their choosing that helps young athletes realize the benefits of playing sports. Dollar is also eligible to submit a short video explaining why the organization they 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 have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.
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 playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.