CHICAGO (July 8, 2021) - In its 36th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Tyler Patterson of Brunswick High School as its 2020-21 Gatorade Maine Boys Track & Field Player of the Year. Patterson is the third Gatorade Maine Boys Track & Field Player of the Year to be chosen from Brunswick High 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 Patterson as Maine's best high school boys track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Player of the Year award to be announced in July, Patterson joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt High School, Iowa), Allyson Felix (2002-03, Los Angeles Baptist High School, Calif.), Robert Griffin III (2006-07, Copperas Cove High School, Texas), Grant Fisher (2013-14 & 2014-15, Grand Blanc High School, Mich.) and Candace Hill (2014-15, Rockdale County High School, Ga.).
The 5-foot-9, 130-pound senior won both the 1600-meter run and the 3200-meter run at the Class A state meet this past season, capturing the former in 4:16.59 breaking the tape in the latter in 9:37.82. Patterson also broke the state record in the 1500m earlier in the season with a clocking of 3:56.10, which ranked as the nation's No. 23 performance among 2021 prep competitors.
Also a talented musician, Patterson has raised funds to rebuild the track facility at his school and has volunteered locally on behalf of youth track programs. "One of Tyler's greatest strengths as a runner has been to be patient with his progression," said Brunswick coach Dan Dearing. "Rather than do too much too soon, he has built a solid foundation so his body and mind are able to run greater distances and train at a very high level for a high school student."
Patterson has maintained an A average in the classroom. He will attend Cornell University this fall, where he will compete in cross country and track and field.
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.
Patterson joins recent Gatorade Maine Boys Track & Field Players of the Year Jarett Flaker (2019-20, Scarborough High School), Cayden Spencer-Thompson (2018-19 & 2017-18, Mattanawcook Academy), and Jake Koffman (2016-17, Orono High School), among the state's list of former award winners.
Through Gatorade's cause marketing platform "Play it Forward," Patterson has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing. Patterson is also eligible to submit a 30-second 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 $2.7 million across 1,117 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, on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.