For the complete list of Gatorade State Cross Country Runners of the Year, click here.
THE WINNER: Thomas Pollard
School: Gilbert (Iowa)
Position: Distance runner
Athletic achievement: He placed 13th at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships with a time of 15:34, the best finish by an Iowa boy in Foot Locker’s 35-year history. Pollard crossed the line second at the Class 2A meet, his second straight runner-up finish, and led the Tigers to a second-place finish as a team. He placed seventh at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional championships and won the Heartland Classic against runners from six states.
Academic excellence: Pollard has maintained an unweighted 4.12 GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of the Gilbert High student council, he has volunteered locally at a food bank and homeless shelter.
“Thomas Pollard is very dedicated and focused as a runner and is a great competitor,” said Gilbert coach Aaron Thomas. “He understands how to race and has the best understanding of pace of any runner I have coached.”
THE FUTURE: Pollard will be a senior this fall.