Runner Wins Two State Titles Before 9th Grade

Maddox Patterson

School:  Sayre School

Grade: 9th

Sport: Cross-country, track, basketball.

Academics: Maddox is an honor roll student and citizenship award winner.

Parents: Jane & “B”

Few athletes can match the startling debut of Maddox Patterson, a freshman at Sayre School who burst out of the starting gate as an unknown to become one of the state’s best cross-country runners.

And no one saw this coming.

A basketball player growing up, Maddox went out for the Sayre middle school track team as a sixth-grader. Coach Colleen Cornelius liked what she saw and urged Maddox to join the middle school cross-country team.

What a great call by Coach Cornelius.

Halfway through the season, Maddox moved up to varsity, and then stunned everyone by winning the regional meet.

A week later, still a virtual unknown, she stunned everyone again, winning the 1-A state championship with a time of 19:42.

“Everybody was surprised,” her mother Jane said. “Maddox started the race out front with all the best runners and then just pulled away. It was very exciting.”

And a sign of things to come.

That spring in the track season, Maddox placed second in the state in the 3200 and third in the 1600.

That set the stage for a dominant eighth-grade cross-country season when Maddox won 10 of 11 races, set nine course records and won her second straight state 1-A title with a time of 18:23.

In last spring’s track season, Maddox again finished second in the state in the 3200 and helped the Sayre 4 x 800 relay team win the state title.

This cross-country season looks like more of the same with Maddox winning her first two races of the year.

“I really like long distances,” Maddox said in typical understatement.

She’s as modest as she is talented.

“I like the sport and that makes me want to do well,” she said. “It feels good after a workout. It feels like you’ve accomplished something.”

Another understatement, considering she runs six days a week, covering 25-30 miles.

Maddox also plays basketball. In eighth grade, she was the point guard on the JV team and also played on the varsity.

“She has a great work ethic,” her mother said. “She has a drive and determination. She never misses a cross-country practice.”

Maddox has the same drive in the classroom. She’s an honor roll student who was voted the class citizenship award by her fellow seventh-graders and won the Todd O’Neill Award for scholarship, athletics and service as an eighth-grader.

She also is an avid reader with a particular fondness for books about dogs. She bakes a mean chocolate chip pumpkin bread, and she’s an amateur photographer.

All of that and two state titles. And she’s been in high school for little over a month.

Her future seems limitless.