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: Drew Hunter
School: Loudoun Valley (Purcellville, Va.)
Position: Distance Runner
Height: the 5-foot-11
Weight: 140 pounds
Athletic achievement: The returning Gatorade State Runner of the Year, he won the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships national title this past season with a time of 14:55.7, crossing the line 12.2 seconds ahead of his closest competitor. Hunter won the Group 4A state title by 56 seconds in 15:04, leading the Vikings to the state championship as a team. He was undefeated in 2015 and also set a course record at the Foot Locker South Regional championships with his time of 14:26.
Academic excellence: Hunter has maintained an unweighted 4.01 GPA.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a youth basketball coach, he has volunteered locally as a mentor at his church, where he has instructed younger parishioners in basic theology. He also serves as the teaching assistant at Loudoun Valley High’s Career Center.
“In my opinion, Drew Hunter is the most focused high school athlete I have ever met,” said Doug Gilbert, head coach of Heritage High. “He sets short- and long-term goals and hits them with an accuracy that is uncanny. He follows his training plan perfectly and is a stickler for doing the small things that most others neglect. Because of this, he enters all races focused and confident that he can tackle anything.”
THE FUTURE: Hunter has signed a National Letter of Intent to run on an athletic scholarship at the University of Oregon beginning this fall.