Gazebo Gazette

In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today  announced Brooklyn Biancamano of Long Beach High School is the 2021-22 Gatorade Mississippi Girls Cross Country Player of the Year.

Biancamano is the first Gatorade Mississippi Girls Cross Country Player of the Year to be chosen from Long Beach 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 Biancamano as Mississippi’s best high school girls cross country player.

Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Player of the Year award to be announced in February, Biancamano joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports.

The state’s three-time returning Gatorade Player of the Year in cross country and a two-time Gatorade winner in  Track and Field, the 5-foot-4 senior distance talent led the Bearcats to fourth place as a team at the MHSAA Class 5A  State XC Championships this past season, breaking the tape to win the individual title with a course-record time of  18:03.60—the fastest all-class clocking of the postseason.

A five-time state champion and All-State selection, Biancamano ran the state’s top 5K girls time (18:00.38) by 41.12 seconds in 2021 as the top Mississippi finisher at  the Jesse Owens Classic (third overall).

The 2021 Clarion Ledger Athlete of the Year for all girls sports, she finished fifth at the NXR South Regional Championships with a time of 18:03.70. 

Biancamano is a co-leader of Long Beach High’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter and belongs to the school’s community service Rotary International Interact Club.

Conversant in American Sign Language (ASL) and a member of the Michael Memorial Baptist Church youth group, she has served as a member of the Long Beach Mayor’s Youth Council and her school’s Junior Civitan club, and she has volunteered as a mentor with the Heritage Christian Academy (Picayune) Cross Country Camp.

She has also donated her time on behalf of a baseball program  for physically and intellectually challenged youth as well as coastal clean-up efforts and the Quarles Elementary School Field Day.

Biancamano has maintained a 5.48 weighted GPA on a 4.0 scale in the classroom, which ranks No. 1 in her class.  She has signed a National Letter of Intent to run on scholarship at the University of Arkansas this fall. 

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. 

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, Biancamano 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.

Biancamano 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.  

The Long Beach Senior now shares the honor with former Pass Christian High School Alum Cory McGee and U.S. Olympiad as the most decorated Gatorade Player of the Year in Mississippi. Brooklyn’s award list includes 4 for cross country and 2 for track.