In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company named La Salle's Jack McLoughlin '21 the 2020-21 Gatorade Rhode Island Boys Cross Country Player of the Year.
McLoughlin is the second Gatorade Rhode Island Boys Cross Country Player of the Year to be chosen from La Salle.
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 McLoughlin as Rhode Island’s best high school boys cross country player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Player of the Year award to be announced in April, McLoughlin joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports.
The state’s returning Gatorade Player of the Year, the 6-foot, 128-pound senior won the state meet with a time of 15:27.32, breaking the tape 5.84 seconds ahead of his next-closest competitor and leading the Rams to a first place finish as a team. McLoughlin won three of the five races he entered and took second twice. He finished in the top four at the state meet three times in his prep running career and he placed 35th at the 2019 Nike Cross Nationals.
An Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America, McLoughlin has volunteered locally at Franklin Farm in Cumberland, providing supplies to a food bank, and has donated his time with Toys for Tots and Soles for Souls.
“Jack endures pain so that his success can be one shared with his teammates,” said head coach Ken Skelly. “In a season of unknowns, Jack was laser-focused. In a season of hurdles, Jack was ready for the hand he was dealt. In a season with less of the glitter of big events, Jack found a way to make history.”
McLoughlin has maintained a weighted A average in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to run cross country on scholarship at Georgetown University this fall.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner from each state for 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. Then they award 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.
Through Gatorade’s Play it Forward, McLoughlin can award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit a 30- second video explaining why that organization deserves one of the twelve $10,000 spotlight grants announced throughout the year.