Press Release | In its 39th year of honoring the nation's most elite high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Tommy Latham of Marist School is the 2023-24 Gatorade Georgia Boys Cross Country Player of the Year. Latham is the second Gatorade Georgia Boys Cross Country Player of the Year to be chosen from Marist School.
The 5-foot-10, 145-pound junior crossed the line 15th at the Nike Cross Nationals Final to earn Third Team AllAmerican honors this past season. That performance came on the heels of Latham's First Team All-Region showing at NXR Southeast, where Latham finished third with a time of 14:47.00. Ranked No. 24 in the national Dyestat 100 for 2023, he also won the GHSA Class 6A state title last fall, leading the War Eagles to the team championship. The state's returning Gatorade Player of the Year, he's now won two consecutive individual state titles.
The award, which celebrates the nation's top high school athletes for excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community, distinguishes Latham as Georgia's best high school boys cross country player. From CEOs and coaches to star athletes, Gatorade Player of the Year winners showcase the power of sport, touting an all-star group of alumni that includes Lukas Verzbicas (2010-11 & 2009-10, Carl Sandburg High School, Ill.) and Edward Cheserek (2012-13, St. Benedict's Preparatory School, N.J.).
A practiced piano player and guitar enthusiast, Latham has volunteered locally on behalf of Meals by Grace, providing meals to North Georgia children and families in need. He also served as a team chaplain this past season, a role in which he donated his time to Heads Up For Harry, an organization that raises awareness about mental health challenges. "Tommy Latham proved himself to be one of the Southeast's top rising talents with big-time showings at high-profile meets," said Rich Gonzalez of PrepCalTrack. "He capped a season of excellence by earning First Team All-Region and Third Team All-American status at the Nike Cross Nationals races."
Latham has maintained an A-minus 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. 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.
Two-time winner Latham joins recent Gatorade Georgia Boys Cross Country Players of the Year Ethan Ashley (2021- 22, Denmark High School), Kamari Miller (2020-21, Marietta High School) and Graham Blanks (2019-20, Athens Academy), among the state's list of former award winners.
As part of Gatorade's commitment to breaking down barriers in sport, every Player of the Year also receives a grant to donate to a social impact partner. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners' grants have totaled more than $4.9 million across more than 1,600 organizations.