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THE WINNER: Sam Clausnitzer
School: Bismarck (N.D.)
Weight: 129 pounds
Athletic achievement: He raced to the Class A individual state championship with a time of 15:32.90 this past season, leading the Demons to a 10th consecutive team title. A two-time Class A All-State honoree, Clausnitzer finished 31st at the Nike Cross Nationals Heartland Regional championships in 15:54.80. He concluded the 2014 cross country campaign unbeaten against North Dakota prep competitors.
Academic excellence: Clausnitzer has maintained a B average.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a youth running instructor, he has volunteered on behalf of his church’s youth group, the Salvation Army and his school’s annual Pack the Pantry food drive.
“On a statewide and regional level, Sam’s accomplishments on the cross country course speak for themselves,” said Ken Gardner, head coach of rival Jamestown High. “He was a dominant athlete across the state of North Dakota this season. Other runners in the area, including those on my own team, see his performances and know what it takes to perform at that level. As a coach, I can then point to Sam’s races as an example of the benefits of hard work and dedication.”
THE FUTURE: Clausnitzer will be a senior this fall.