For a list of the other Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Sam Wharton
School: Tippecanoe (Tipp City, Ohio)
Athletic achievement: He won the Nike Cross Nationals Final this past season, breaking the tape in 17:06. A two-time First Team All-State selection, Wharton was runner-up at the Nike Cross Nationals Midwest Regional championships with a time of 15:32. He also finished second at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional championships, crossing the line in 14:56 and qualifying for the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships, where he placed sixth with a time of 15:19, becoming one of two runners in the nation to finish among the top 10 runners at both the Nike and Foot Locker national meets. Wharton also raced to a Division I individual state title, breaking the tape in 15:09.95.
Academic excellence: Wharton has maintained a 3.98 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society, he has volunteered locally as a library aide and at a food pantry.
“Sam Wharton is widely regarded by many coaches around the state as one of the top 15 cross country runners in state history,” said Tippecanoe head coach Byron Kimmel. “His victory at the Nike Cross Final energized our entire community.”
THE FUTURE: Wharton has verbally committed to an athletic scholarship at Stanford University beginning this fall.