For a list of the other Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Edward Cheserek
School: St. Benedict’s Prep (Newark, N.J.)
Athletic achievement: He won his second consecutive national title this past season at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships, with a time of 14:59. Cheserek also won the Foot Locker Northeast Regional championship in 15:21.8, and earned victories at the Essex County Championships, the Prep A state championships and the Eastern States race at the Manhattan Invitational.
Academic excellence: Cheserek has maintained a B average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally on behalf of a community soup kitchen.
“Edward has broken every record around, beating times set by guys who have been in the Olympics,” said St. Benedict’s coach Marty Hannon. “What he’s accomplished is amazing. It’s been like a dream come true. I hate to put a burden on kids, but the sky is really the limit for him.”
THE FUTURE: Cheserek remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.