North Dakota Boys Cross Country ROY: Sam Clausnitzer

North Dakota Boys Cross Country ROY: Sam Clausnitzer

Gatorade State Player of the Year

North Dakota Boys Cross Country ROY: Sam Clausnitzer


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: Sam Clausnitzer


School: Bismarck (N.D.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Distance Runner
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: N/A

Athletic achievement: The state’s returning Gatorade Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, Clausnitzer raced to a second consecutive Class A individual state championship with a time of 15:52.10 this past season, leading the Demons to an 11th straight team title. The distance runner took fifth at the Nike Cross Nationals Heartland Regional championships in 15:20.50 and finished 13th at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional championships in 15:33.30. He was 46th at the NXN Final in 15:48.50. Unbeaten against in-state competition, his effort at the NXN Heartland Regional was North Dakota’s fastest 5K among prep competitors in 2015.

Academic excellence: Clausnitzer has maintained a B average.

Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a youth running instructor, he has volunteered on behalf of his church’s youth group, the Salvation Army, Bismarck’s annual Pack the Pantry food drive and Runners Against Destructive Decisions.


“Sam has gotten to the point of being the state’s best distance runner and one of the top Heartland Regional runners,” said Brad Lies, head coach at rival Century High. “He has done this by being dedicated to training and doing the little things that separate the great ones from the good ones.”

THE FUTURE: Clausnitzer has signed a National Letter of Intent to run on an athletic scholarship at Iowa State University beginning this fall.


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