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THE WINNER: Kai Benedict
School: McQueen (Reno, Nev.)
Position: Distance runner
Athletic achievement: He raced to the Division 1 individual state championship this past season with a time of 16:05, leading the Lancers to third place as a team. Benedict also won the Nevada Twilight Classic, the Nevada Union Invitational, the Northern Region Championships, the High Desert League Championships and the Division 1 race at the Stanford Invitational.
Academic excellence: Benedict has maintained a 4.13 GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of the 4H Club, he serves as a math and science tutor in his school and has volunteered locally on behalf of a charity road race.
“Kai is a great talent, but that’s not what separates him from other runners,” said McQueen coach Ed Parise. “He is one of the hardest working athletes I’ve seen in my 20 years of coaching, and he’s very dedicated to the sport. He’s also a great leader who is respected by his peers.”
THE FUTURE: Benedict will be a senior this fall.