Gilbert's Keyes earns Gatorade Arizona Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year accolades

January 31, 2022 by Seth Polansky, AZPreps365

CHICAGO (January 31, 2022) — In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Terrence Keyes of Gilbert High School is the 2021-22 Gatorade Arizona Boys Cross Country Player of the Year. Keyes is the first Gatorade Arizona Boys Cross Country Player of the Year to be chosen from Gilbert High School.

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 Keyes as Arizona’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 February, Keyes joins an elite alumni association of state awardwinners in 12 sports, including Lukas Verzbicas (2010-11 & 2009-10, Carl Sandburg High School, Orland Park, Ill.), Megan Goethals (2009-10, Rochester High School, Rochester Hills, Mich.), Jordan Hasay (2008-09, Mission College Preparatory Catholic High School, San Luis Obispo, Calif.) and Chris Derrick (2007-08, Neuqua Valley High School, Naperville, Ill.).

The 6-foot, 135-pound senior raced to the Division 2 individual state championship this past season with a time of 15:43.9. Keyes also won the Chandler Invitational, the Sectional championship, the Gilbert City championship and the Ojo Rojo Invitational. He took ninth at the Desert Twilight Festival and finished 13th at the Nike Cross Southwest Regional Championships.

Keyes has served as a math and science tutor, and has volunteered locally on behalf of Feed My Starving Children and youth running programs. “Terrence is a driven and extremely hard-working young man,” said Gilbert High School coach Rose DuMont. “He’s also always willing to help guide his younger teammates to reach their own potential. He’s a great role model.”

Keyes has maintained a 3.46 GPA in the classroom. He remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.

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. Keyes joins recent Gatorade Arizona Boys Cross Country Players of the Year Dayton Carlson (2020-21, Casteel High School), Leo Daschbach (2019-20 & 2018-19, Highland High School), and Rylan Stubbs (2017-18, Campo Verde High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.

Gatorade has a long-standing history of serving athlete communities and understands how sports instill valuable lifelong skills on and off the field. Through Gatorade’s “Play it Forward” platform, Middleton has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national organization of their choosing that helps young athletes realize the benefits of playing sports. Middleton is also eligible to submit a short video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.

Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.

To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate studentathletes, visit or follow us on social media on Facebook at, Instagram at and Twitter at