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: D.J. Harris
School: Desert Vista (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Position: Distance Runner
Weight: 145 pounds
Athletic achievement: He raced to the Division I individual state championship this past season with a time of 15:50.3, leading the Thunder to the state title as a team. Harris also won the Tempe City championship while finishing 11th at the Desert Twilight Festival and 15th at the Woodbridge (Calif.) Classic.
Academic excellence: Harris has maintained a 3.54 GPA.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally on behalf of a charity thrift store and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
“D.J. was outstanding for our team this season,” said Desert Vista coach Chris Hanson. “We always knew he had the talent to be the best and he took it to the next level with added focus and determination.”
THE FUTURE: Harris remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.