From many, there will be one. And while there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own state at this point in the season, a number of elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop on the latest top candidate.
Loudoun Valley (Purcellville, Va.)
Greatness Present: The Andrew Hunter show rolled through Charlotte, N.C., over the weekend. The 6-foot, 140-pound senior ran away from the pack at the Foot Locker Cross Country South Regional on Nov. 28, covering the 5-kilometer course in a record 14:26, clearing the field by 33 seconds. That time was 10 seconds faster than Hunter’s winning time on the same course in 2014 and made him the first boy to repeat as South Regional champ.
Greatness Past: Hunter was the top underclassman at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships last year, placing fourth. A three-time state champion, he was also the 2014 Washington Post All-Met Cross-Country Athlete of the Year.
Greatness Future: Hunter will take his talents across the country to the University of Oregon next fall.
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 weekly updates on the top contenders making a case.