Gatorade award goes to Hersey's Methner
Hersey's Josh Methner is the 2019-20 Gatorade Illinois Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year.
The award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence and also high standards of academic achievement and character demonstrated on and off the field. Now a finalist for the Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in July, Methner joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt High School, Iowa) and Robert Griffin III (2006-07, Copperas Cove High School, Texas).
The 5-foot-8, 130-pound senior clocked a time of 9:08.18 in the 3,200 this past winter, which ranked as the nation's No. 15 performance among prep competitors during the 2020 indoor season. The state's reigning Gatorade Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, Methner won a national title at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in December and took second at the Nike Cross Nationals. He also won an outdoor track championship in the 3,200 at the 2019 Class 3A state meet.
Methner has volunteered locally on behalf of his church's youth group.
"Josh is an outstanding, once-in-a-career kind of kid to coach, but he's an even better person and teammate," said Hersey distance coach Kevin Young. "His progress through his high school career looked easy, but that's because of his daily commitment to the craft and his team. He always did the little things to ensure that he got every last bit out of his experience in high school."
Methner has maintained a weighted 3.89 GPA in the classroom. He will run in college at Notre Dame.
Methner joins recent Gatorade Illinois Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year including Marcellus Moore (2017-18 and 2018-19, Plainfield North) and Cameron Ruiz (2016-17, Lakes) among the state's list of former award winners.