The Gatorade State Boys Cross Country Runners of the Year were selected based on athletic production and impact in the 2015-16 season. Each winner also demonstrated high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership.
For the complete list of Gatorade State Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Cole Stidfole
School: Oak Mountain (Birmingham, Ala.)
Position: Distance Runner
Weight: 125 pounds
Athletic achievement: The distance runner clocked the state’s fastest time (15:20.45) among prep competitors in 2015 at the 17th annual Jesse Owens Classic this past season. A three-time All-State honoree, Stidfole took second at the Class 7A state meet in 15:32.48, leading the Eagles to fourth place as a team. He also raced to 31st place at the Foot Locker South Regional championships with a time of 15:53.
Academic excellence: Stidfole has maintained a 3.57 weighted GPA and represents one of the state’s top academic candidates in meeting the Gatorade award’s broad criteria.
Exemplary character: In addition to annually attending the faith-based FC Alabama Camp, he has donated his time on behalf of his church’s youth group.
“I have coached a past Gatorade Alabama Boys Cross Country ROY: in Scott Fuqua, and I can tell you that Cole represents many of the qualities that Fuqua had when he was awarded the honor,” said Paul Anderton, head coach at rival Thompson High. “Cole is a determined athlete with good work ethics. He also encourages others on his team.”
THE FUTURE: Stidfole will begin his senior year of high school this fall.