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 Dowdy
School: South Oldham (Crestwood, Ky.)
Position: Distance Runner
Weight: 135 pounds
Athletic achievement: He raced to the Class 3A individual state championship this past season with a time of 15:20.3, leading the Dragons to a second-place finish as a team. The 2015 Kentucky Track and Cross County Coaches Association Class 3A Runner of the Year, Dowdy took seventh at the Foot Locker South Regional championships, crossing the line in 15:16, then went on to compete at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships, where he earned 38th place in 16:25.6.
Academic excellence: Dowdy has maintained a 4.32 weighted GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society, the Beta Club and Boy Scouts of America, he has volunteered locally on behalf of an area food bank.
“During his freshman year, Cole Dowdy set a goal of becoming a state champion and a Foot Locker Cross Country Championship finalist,” said South Oldham head coach Stan Clark. “He used his strength and the willingness needed for four years to accomplish that goal. His mental toughness and focus not only made his dream a reality, but also helped the team be the best it could be.”
THE FUTURE: Dowdy has signed a National Letter of Intent to run on an athletic scholarship at the University of Kentucky beginning this fall.