The best high school cross country runner in the country is from the Bay Area.
Liam Anderson of Larkspur is only 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs just 130 pounds. But in the high school cross country ranks, no one casts a bigger shadow. On Wednesday, the Redwood High School senior received the prestigious honor of being awarded Gatorade’s National Cross Country Runner of the Year.
Anderson was taken by surprise in the school cafeteria.
"I had a little bit of an idea. Just, it was a little fishy," he said. "The amount of people gathered. But I didn’t know this is what it was."
Anderson will run for Stanford University next season after his dominance at the high school level went unmatched in recent years, says coach Laura Schmitt.
"Every race he’s run," Schmitt said when asked about Anderson's big wins. "State meet champion. National champion. Every one. He has not lost. I’m comfortable saying that."
Anderson says the Gatorade award means a lot to him.
"This award specifically recognizes so much more than just work on the track but also in the classroom and volunteering," he said. "And I think I’ve tried to do my best to work, really hard, in all three regards."
Anderson carries a 4.26 grade point average while also volunteering for Marin County Search and Rescue.
"Seeing his passion for running, he just absolutely loves running," said Deborah Anderson, Liam’s mother. "He loves competing. And he has a core of joy to it, which is really lovely to see."