From many, there will be one. And while there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own state at this point in the season, a number of elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop on the latest top candidate.
Senior distance runner, Denver (Colo.) East
Greatness Present: A year ago, Geberkidane wasn’t the fastest high school runner in his own house, let alone the fastest in the nation.
This year, however, he’s making a case for being the fastest Colorado has ever known. The younger brother of 2012-13 Gatorade Colorado Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year Ashi Geberkidane, Cerake torched the field this fall at the Arvada West Invitational with a startling 14:46.50 clocking — despite the mile-high altitude.
Originally thought to be the fastest 5K in Colorado prep history, it was later found to be a scant two seconds behind the 14:44.46 time recorded by three-time NCAA champion Adam Goucher.
Ranked No. 2 nationally by DyeStat.com, Geberkidane hasn’t been beaten this season and, though he hasn’t approached 14:46 again, he’s consistently run in the low 15s, most recently destroying the field by 2:09 at the Denver Public School Championships in 15:05.
Greatness Past: Geberkidane finished third at the 2012 Class 5A state meet, 17 seconds behind Ashi. He also played on Denver East’s 2011 state championship soccer team — at one point competing in both cross country and soccer during the same high school season.
Greatness Future: An Ivy League-caliber student, Geberkidane has not decided on a collegiate destination, but unlike his older brother Ashi — a soccer player at Harvard — he will run at the next level.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade State Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year races aren’t over, and the National ROY race is just heating up. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list.Check back for daily updates on the top contenders making their case.