For the complete list of Gatorade State Cross Country Runners of the Year, click here.
THE WINNER: Zach Alhamra
School: Pine Creek (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Position: Distance runner
Athletic achievement: He raced to 20th place nationally this past season with a time of 15:25 at the Nike Cross Nationals Final. Alhamra earned victories at the Liberty Bell Invitational, the Metro League Championships and the Region 5 Championships. He also finished second at the Class 5A state meet with a time of 16:29, and was seventh at the NXN Southwest Regional championships.
Academic excellence: Alhamra has maintained a 4.64 GPA and represents one of the state’s top academic candidates in meeting the Gatorade Award’s broad criteria.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society and the Mu Alpha Theta math club, he has volunteered locally on behalf of multiple community service initiatives associated with his church youth group and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“Zachary is the hardest worker I’ve ever coached,” said Pine Creek coach Mark Weeks. “My biggest challenge has been to harness his energy and enthusiasm.”
THE FUTURE: Alhamra will be a senior this fall.