From many, there will be one. And while there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own state at this point, a number of elite performers have made a case for Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop on the latest top candidate.
Junior distance runner, Grand Blanc (Mich.)
Greatness Present: Becoming a great distance runner involves single-minded dedication and a fanatical, laser-like focus on the sport.
Or, you know, maybe not.
A year ago, Grant Fisher didn’t even compete at Michigan’s cross-country state championships because he was playing for a state soccer title on the same day (the Bobcats lost the 2012 title game, 1-0).
This past fall, Fisher continued to split time between soccer and cross country, but when Clarkston (Mich.) shocked previously unbeaten Grand Blanc 1-0 in the district soccer finals, he turned his full attention to cross country, and won the Division I state title, in 15:13.7.
The 5-foot-8 junior is outstanding on the pitch—earning a 4-star ranking from Top Drawer Soccer and Honorable Mention All-State honors this past fall—but he has proven to be literally unbeatable on the cross-country course. Fisher followed his state title with a victory at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional championships, and then capped a perfect season with the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships title, defeating Washington’s John Dressel in 15:07.
Greatness Past: As a sophomore in 2012, Fisher won a regional cross-country championship before opting out of the state meet. He also won a track and field state championship in the 3,200-meter run this past spring in addition to placing second at 1,600 meters.
Greatness Future: Fisher has Division 1 college scholarship ability in both soccer and running, though he may have to finally focus on just one if he wants to reach his dream of running in the Olympics.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade State Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year races aren’t over, and the National ROY race is now 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.