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THE WINNER: Eric Hamer
School: Palmer Ridge (Monument, Colo.)
Weight: 140 pounds
Athletic achievement: He raced to the Class 4A individual state championship this past season with a time of 16:17.7, leading the Bears to the state title as a team. Hamer took third at the Nike Cross Nationals Southwest Regional championships and finished fourth nationally at the NXN Final, earning All-American status in a time of 15:23. He also broke the tape at the Region 2 championships, the Pikes Peak Conference championships, the Dave Sanders Invitational and the Woodland Park Run Above the Clouds.
Academic excellence: Hamer has maintained a 3.80 GPA.
Exemplary character: A troop leader with the Boy Scouts of America and a devoted member of his church community, he has volunteered locally on behalf of youth running programs.
“Eric has more resilience than any other athlete I have ever coached,” said Palmer Ridge coach Kelly Christensen. “He always shows up on time and gives us 100 percent every day, no matter how hard his life gets. There is nothing he wouldn’t do to accomplish his goals.”
THE FUTURE: Hamer is undecided upon a collegiate destination.