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: Justin Janke
School: North Central (Spokane, Wash.)
Position: Distance Runner
Weight: 150 pounds
Athletic achievement: He raced to the Class 3A individual state championship this past season with a time of 15:02, leading the Indians to the state title as a team. Janke also won the Nike Border Clash, the Tracy Walters Invitational and the Richland Invitational. He took sixth at the Nike Cross Nationals Northwest Regional championships and seventh at the Foot Locker West Regional championships before finishing 25th at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships.
Academic excellence: Janke has maintained a 4.0 GPA.
Exemplary character: Also a talented artist and saxophonist, he has volunteered locally on behalf of Women’s and Children’s Free Restaurant and Community Kitchen and environmental conservation efforts.
“Justin is the product of hard work,” said North Central coach Jon Knight. “He’s a lunch pail kind of kid. He saw what he had to do and he sculpted himself into the runner he became.”
THE FUTURE: Janke remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.