For a list of the other Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Joe Harter
School: Millard West (Omaha, Neb.)
Athletic achievement: He raced to the Class A individual state championship this past season with a time of 15:22.9, leading the Wildcats to a fifth-place finish as a team. A 2012 First Team All-State selection, Harter earned ninth place at the Nike Cross Nationals Midwest Regional championships, crossing the line in 15:45.4.
Academic excellence: Harter has maintained a 3.09 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally on behalf of Goodwill Industries International, a food bank and as a youth track and field coach.
“Joe Harter is a terrific person and he is always upbeat and enthusiastic about everything he does,” said Millard West head coach Max Kurz. “He is a tremendous competitor with excellent academic, athletic and personal qualities to be very successful in life.”
THE FUTURE: Harter remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.