For a list of the other Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Jackson Darland
School: Sheldon (Eugene, Ore.)
Athletic achievement: He raced to the Class 6A individual state championship this past season with a time of 15:40, leading the Irish to fourth place as a team. Darland also captured victories at the Marist Invitational, the Country Fair Classic and the Southwest District Championships.
Academic excellence: Darland has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: Also a talented musician and editor of his school newspaper, he has volunteered locally on behalf of a homeless shelter, a community garden and an elementary school literacy-outreach program.
“What makes Jackson special is his fearless pursuit to be great at everything he does,” said Sheldon coach Brayce Forsha. “Whether it’s running, school, music, work or volunteering, he gives everything he has to doing the best he possibly can. That mentality has had an amazing effect on the rest of the team.”
THE FUTURE: Darland remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.