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THE WINNER: Thomas Pollard
School: Gilbert (Iowa)
Weight: 130 pounds
Athletic achievement: The returning Gatorade State Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, he earned All-American status by placing 12th at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships with a time of 15:29, marking the best finish in the race’s history by an Iowa prep for a second straight year (Pollard ran a 15:34 as a junior). Pollard broke the tape at the Class 3A state meet in 15:04.5, more than a minute ahead of his closest competitor, and led the Tigers to a state championship as a team. He placed sixth at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional championships and won the Heartland Classic for a second straight year.
Academic excellence: Pollard has maintained a 4.11 unweighted GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of the Gilbert High student council, he has volunteered locally at a food bank and homeless shelter.
“Thomas’s placing and times speak for themselves,” said Mitch Anderson, head coach of Mount Pleasant High. “What makes Thomas a great runner is that he can run any race strategy—either sit and kick or at a state-record pace.”
THE FUTURE: Pollard remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.