The Gatorade State Boys Cross Country Runners of the Year were selected based on athletic production and impact in the 2015-16 season. Each winner also demonstrated high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership.
For the complete list of Gatorade State Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Phillip Rocha
School: Arcadia (Calif.)
Position: Distance Runner
Weight: 145 pounds
Athletic achievement: He raced to the Division 1 individual state championship this past season with a time of 14:42.9. Rocha placed second at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in 15:07.9, and was also second at the Foot Locker West Regional championships. He broke the tape at the Stanford Invitational, the Clovis Invitational and the Mt. SAC Invitational.
Academic excellence: Rocha has maintained a B average.
Exemplary character: A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he has volunteered locally on behalf of youth running programs.
“Phillip set the bar exceedingly high for himself as a freshman, and in the three years since he’s raised that bar time and time again,” said Arcadia coach Michael Feraco-Eberle. “He ran personal bests in every race, save two where he was ordered by his coaches to conserve his energy, and two where he was asked to sacrifice his time in order to better pace an inexperienced varsity group.”
THE FUTURE: Rocha remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.