Katelyn Tuohy, one of the most dominant athletes in NCAA history, knows how to pull off a surprise. Turns out she is dominant off the track too.
On Tuesday, Tuohy surprised Addison Ritzenhein as the 2023-24 Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Player of the Year by bringing the trophy to her school. A sophomore at Niwot High School (Niwot, Colorado), she won the Nike Cross Nationals Final with a time of 17:10.40.
Running cross country since seventh grade, Ritzenhein has the potential to be one of the best in the history of the sport. Tuohy, who presented her with the award, was named the Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Player of the Year for three consecutive seasons, beginning in 2018.
“Addy Ritzenhein achieved more and raced smarter than any prep girl in the country this past season, beating a stacked race field at the Nike Cross Nationals Final and leading her team to the podium,” said Rich Gonzalez, PrepCal Track editor., in a statement released by Gatorade
“Her excellence throughout 2023 on Colorado courses at altitude set her up for nationals, where her strength and tactical racing opened up the field. She was the best racer in the best races and she’s only a sophomore.”
Tuohy ran cross country at North Carolina State for three seasons where she was among the best distance runners in college history. Last month, she declared her intentions to go professional and she signed an endorsement deal with Adidas.
As for Ritzenhein, she has the potential to match Tuohy’s dominance at the high school level over the next two years. She certainly has some good D.N.A. to take the next step in the sport.
Her father is former Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein, who twice won the Michigan Gatorade Player of the Year.