Long-distance runners extraordinaire Sydney Thorvaldson from Rawlins and Peter Visser from Star Valley were named the recipients of the 2021 Milward Simpson Athlete of the Year Awards on Saturday. The awards, which are given annually to the top female and male graduating high school seniors, are considered to be the most prestigious honor bestowed upon a Wyoming high school athlete.
Thorvaldson was a six-time Gatorade winner (four cross country, two track) and this year became the first national Gatorade winner from Wyoming when she won the honors in cross country. Thorvaldson will attend the University of Arkansas on a cross country and track scholarship.
Thorvaldson is the first girls from Rawlins to win the Milward Simpson Award. The Outlaws’ Scott Muir won the boys’ award in 2001.
Visser is a four-time Gatorade winner (three cross country, one track) and three-time state cross country champion for the Braves. Visser, who will run track and cross county at Weber State, is the first Star Valley athlete to win the award.
Other girls finalists were Allyson Fertig and Kamdynn Townsend from Douglas, Gabby Drube from Thunder Basin and Powell’s Emma Karhu. The other boys finalists were Cheyenne East’s Graedyn Buell, Encampment’s Dalton Peterson, Worland’s Rudy Sanford and Lyman’s Joseph Turner.