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: Joshua Clark
School: Highland Regional (Blackwood, N.J.)
Position: Distance Runner
Weight: 140 pounds
Athletic achievement: He raced to the state Meet of Champions individual title this past season with a time of 15:33. Clark also won the Group 3 state championship in 16:17 and broke the tape at the Brown Invitational, the South Jersey Shootout, the Passaic County Coaches Invitational and the Manhattan Invitational (Varsity F race). He took fourth at the Foot Locker Northeast Region championships and finished 26th at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships.
Academic excellence: Clark has maintained a B average.
Exemplary character: Also a wrestling standout, he has served on his school’s student-leadership committee and has volunteered locally on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
“He had no idea what cross country was until he got to high school,” said Highland Regional coach Bob Wagner. “We nicknamed him ‘The Natural.’ He works hard, he’s a team leader, and he improves every year. He’s a great kid and a great competitor.”
THE FUTURE: Clark remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.