For a list of the other Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Bernie Montoya
School: Cibola High (Yuma, Ariz.)
Athletic achievement: He raced to the Division 1 individual state championship this past season with a time of 15:14.2. The state’s returning Gatorade Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, Montoya won the Nike Cross Nationals Southwest Regional championship in 14:48.5 and finished 22nd at the NXN Final. He captured titles at the Desert Twilight Festival, the Sole Sports Running Zone Festival, the Central Park Invitational and the Cibola Invitational.
Academic excellence: Montoya has maintained a B average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A devoted member of his church community, he has volunteered locally on behalf of a shelter for victims of domestic abuse.
“Bernie carried a lot of expectations during his senior year and he didn’t disappoint,” said Cibola head coach Kris Norton. “Most importantly, he stayed healthy and captured his third state title, which was one of his main goals.”
THE FUTURE: Montoya remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.