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: Steven Cross
School: Merritt Island (Fla.)
Position: Distance Runner
Weight: 140 pounds
Athletic achievement: He raced to the Class 3A individual state championship this past season with a time of 15:30.63. Cross also broke the tape first at the Region 4 championships, the FSU Pre-State Invitational, the UF Mt. Dew Invitational and the Astronaut Invitational. He finished 31st at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships.
Academic excellence: Cross has maintained a 3.65 GPA.
Exemplary character: A math tutor in his school, he has volunteered locally on behalf of a food pantry and Habitat for Humanity.
“Steven is absolutely self-motivated to become a top runner in the U.S.,” said Merritt Island coach Bill Buonanni. “He loves running and everything about the sport, and he has an infectious attitude which led to us having the largest boys team we’ve had at our school.”
THE FUTURE: Cross has signed a National Letter of Intent to run on an athletic scholarship at Florida State University beginning this fall.