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: Jackson Ellenburg
School: Ashley Ridge (Summerville, S.C.)
Position: Distance Runner
Weight: 145 pounds
Athletic achievement: The distance runner raced to a second consecutive Class AAAA individual state championship with a time of 15:30 this past season, clocking the second-fastest 5K time among South Carolina prep competitors in 2015. The returning All-Low Country Runner of the Year as named by The Post and Courier, Ellenburg finished 65th at the Foot Locker South Regional championships in 16:16. A three-time Class AAAA All-State honoree, he finished seventh at the 2013 Class AAAA state meet as a freshman.
Academic excellence: Ellenburg has maintained a 4.37 weighted GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of his school’s chess and Ultimate Frisbee clubs as well as the orchestra, he has volunteered locally at multiple charitable road races, as a youth athletic instructor and as part of the Swamp Fest field day for students with special needs.
“I really like Jackson Ellenburg,” said Thane Williams, head coach at rival Fort Dorchester High. “He is hardworking and diligent both as a runner and as a student at school. He is friendly and respectful outside of school. He is helpful to his teammates and a good leader.”
THE FUTURE: Ellenburg will begin his senior year of high school this fall.