Catalina Foothills senior Brandon Martz Gatorade Arizona Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year

Catalina Foothills senior Brandon Martz is headed to Rice to compete for its cross country and track and field programs (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Gatorade today announced Brandon Martz of Catalina Foothills High School as the 2022-23 Gatorade Arizona Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.

Martz is the first Gatorade Arizona Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Catalina Foothills.

The award distinguishes Martz as Arizona’s best high school boys cross country runner and it recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the field.

The senior who is bound for Rice to run for the cross country and track and field programs there is now finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Player of the Year award to be announced later this month.

Martz, 6-foot and 142 pounds, raced to the Division II individual state championship in the fall, clocking the fastest time of all divisions at 15:39.4.

Unbeaten against in-state competition, Martz also took second at the Desert Twilight XC Festival in a personal-best 15:10.10.

He opened his 2022 season by crossing state lines to win the Division 1 individual championship at the prestigious Mt. Carmel Invitational meet in California.

Martz has volunteered locally as a dietary aide at a nursing facility and as a lab researcher at the University of Arizona. Despite being diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma, he has prospered in the sport and elsewhere.

“Brandon Martz stamped himself as a true big-meet performer this past season,” noted PrepCalTrack.com editor Rich Gonzalez in a release issued by the AIA. “In addition to posting the fastest all-divisions time at the state meet, he recorded a major meet win at California’s Mt. Carmel Invitational and earned second place at the prestigious Desert Twilight Festival.”

Martz has maintained a weighted 4.22 GPA in the classroom.

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.

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