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THE WINNER: Curt Knight
School: Jackson (Miss.) Academy
Weight: 140 pounds
Athletic achievement: He raced to a fourth consecutive Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA individual state championship with a time of 16:35.09 this past season, leading the Raiders to fifth place as a team. The state’s returning Gatorade Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, Knight finished 51st at the Foot Locker South Regional championships in 15:45, which ranked as the state’s fastest 5K of the season. He finished unbeaten against Mississippi prep cross country runners in 2014.
Academic excellence: Knight has maintained a 3.67 GPA.
Exemplary character: An Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, he has volunteered on behalf of his church’s youth group and at a local soup kitchen.
“I have watched Curt for six years, and he has shown the highest level of competitiveness and sportsmanship at the same time,” said Pat Lovitt, head coach of rival Madison-Ridgeland Academy. “He has constantly strived to improve and make himself the best runner possible. He has handled his success with grace and dignity and never thought himself to be above any of his competition. He has always been the most gracious champion.”
THE FUTURE: Knight has signed with Alabama.