For a list of the other Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Jacob Burcham
School: Cabell Midland (Ona, W.Va.)
Athletic achievement: The 5-foot-10, 153-pound senior won the Nike Cross Nationals Southeast Regional championships this past season with a time of 15:09.8. The two-time returning Gatorade West Virginia Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, Burcham raced to his third straight Class AAA individual state championship, breaking the tape in 14:58.04 and leading the Knights to a state title as a team. He also qualified for the Nike Cross Nationals Final where he finished 84th in 18:27. Burcham becomes the first three-time Gatorade Runner of the Year in state history.
Academic excellence: Burcham has maintained a 4.1 GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society and the vice president of his school’s student body, he has volunteered locally on behalf of a nursing home and as a youth track and field coach.
“Jacob Burcham is the best distance runner that West Virginia has ever produced at the high school level,” said Cabell Midland head coach Chris Parsons. “He is the epitome of what a coach would want a runner to model. He has inspired his fellow runners to raise their own goals to higher levels.”
THE FUTURE: Burcham remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.