In its 29th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Mohamed Hussein of Northfield Mount Hermon School as its 2013-14 Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year. Hussein is the first Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Northfield Mount Hermon School.
The 5-foot-6, 130-pound senior raced the New England Preparatory School Track Association Division I individual championship this past season with a time of 16:06. A First Team All-NEPSTA selection, Hussein earned 14th place at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional championships, crossing the line in 16:01.1.
Hussein has maintained a 3.67 GPA in the classroom. A member of his school’s Debate Team, Business Club and Model Senate, he has volunteered locally on behalf of a food bank and as a peer tutor.
“Mohamed Hussein has quickly become a leader in our school as well as a top runner,” said Northfield Mount Hermon head coach Grant Gonzalez. “He is sincerely beloved by his peers and is one of the kindest, most caring students I have had the privilege of knowing in my career.”
Hussein will attend Amherst College this fall, where he will compete in cross country and track and field.
Hussein joins Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Cross Country Runners of the Year Jonathan Green (2012-13, St. John's High School), Wesley Gallagher (2011-12, Pembroke High School), John Murray (2010-11, Shrewsbury High School), Patrick McGowan (2009-10, Mansfield), Mike Moverman (2008-09, Oliver Ames), and Robert Gibson (2007-08, Brookline) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007.
Here are the winners for the five other New England states:
CONNECTICUT: ALEX OSTBERG, DARIEN
The 5-foot-6, 115-pound junior raced to the Class L state championship this past season with a time of 15:34, leading the Blue Wave to the state title as a team. Ostberg finished third at the Nike Cross Nationals Northeast Regional championships and took 11th nationally at the NXN Final, in 15:31. He also won the Bethel Invitational, finished second at the New England Cross Country Championships and was third at the State Open championships.
Ostberg has maintained a 4.01 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally as an emergency medical technician.
“This was the first year that Alex was actually healthy for championship season,” said Darien coach Tyson Kaczmarek. “He’s one of the most dedicated and hard-working athletes I have ever coached. He does all the extra things a runner can do to be their best.”
Ostberg will begin his senior year of high school this fall.
RHODE ISLAND: COLIN TIERNEY, BISHOP HENDRICKEN
The 6-foot senior distance runner raced to the state’s open individual championship with a time of 15:49.01 this past season, leading the Hawks to a sixth consecutive state title as a team. A two-time First Team All-State selection as named by the Providence Journal and Rhode Island Track Coaches Association, Tierney also won the Class A championships in 15:32.24. He captured fifth place at the New England Cross Country Championships in 15:17.10, and then took 11th at the Nike Cross Nationals Northeast Regional championships in 16:01.8.
Tierney has maintained a 3.15 GPA in the classroom. A member of his school’s peer ministry and mentoring initiatives, he volunteered on behalf of his church’s youth group, The One Fund, the Special Olympics and the Making a Difference Foundation. He has also traveled on six service-mission trips along the Eastern seaboard.
“Colin continues to impress me every day with his intense work ethic and never-quit attitude in every race,” said Bishop Hendricken head coach Jim Doyle. “I have never seen an athlete with his incredible determination and ability to accomplish his goals. He is a standout athlete who also is a student, a gentlemen and a friend to his teammates and competitors. He has amazing potential for greatness and he has the talent, attitude, will and work ethic to make good things happen in his college running career.”
Tierney remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: JEREMY BRASSARD, COE-BROWN NORTHWOOD
The 5-foot-11 senior distance runner raced to a second consecutive Meet of Champions individual title with a time of 15:50 this past season, leading the Bears to third place as a team. The state’s returning Gatorade Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, Brassard also won a second straight Division II individual championship in 15:51. The two-time Runner of the Year as named by the Union Leader, Concord Monitor, Foster’s Daily Democrat and New Hampshire Cross Country Coaches Association, Brassard captured 10th place at the New England Cross Country Championships in 15:48.10. He took 22nd at the Nike Cross Nationals Northeast Regional championships in 16:18.7.
Brassard has maintained a B average in the classroom. In addition to donating his time as part of food drives for the needy and community cleanup efforts, he has volunteered locally on behalf of the Boy Scouts of America, the Special Olympics, Court Appointed Special Advocates and The Way Home, an affordable housing non-profit.
“Beyond the obvious data that shows him being New Hampshire’s top boys’ runner, he’s an example of sportsmanship and positive character,” said Dave Irving, head coach of rival Merrimack Valley High. “Jeremy has shown nothing but the utmost respect for all athletes I’ve seen him interact with. Any desire to win is immediately set aside upon crossing the finish line, and he’s often congratulating finishers from second to 100th place. He is absolutely the kind of runner I would love to coach on my own team.”
Brassard has verbally committed to an athletic scholarship at Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois beginning this fall.
MAINE: JOSEF HOLT-ANDREWS, TELSTAR REGIONAL
The 6-foot-1 senior distance runner raced to the Class C individual state championship with a time of 17:00.87 this past season. Also the Runner of the Year as named by the Portland Press Herald, Holt-Andrews took third place at the New England Cross Country Championships in 15:12.90. He placed fifth at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional championships in 15:36.8, and then captured All-American honors with a 10th-place finish at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in 15:30.
Holt-Andrews has maintained an A-minus average in the classroom. He has donated his time as a peer tutor and youth running instructor.
“I’ve watched his confidence and personal growth really take off over the past four years,” said Nick Scott, head coach of rival Boothbay Region High. “He has always been a very talented runner, but even amid his success appeared hungry for more. Each of his four years, he has steadily increased his athletic abilities and capped off his senior cross-country season in an absolutely tremendous way. As an opposing coach, I have the highest respect for Josef.”
Holt-Andrews remain undecided upon a collegiate destination.
VERMONT: SAM NISHI, HARWOOD UNION
The 5-foot-7, 125-pound junior raced to the Division 2 individual state championship this past season with a time of 16:34.8, leading the Highlanders to the state title as a team. Nishi also won the NVAC Championships, the Burlington Invitational and the Jim Smith Invitational. He was the top Vermont finisher at the New England Cross Country Championships, 19th overall, and at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional championships, 31st overall.
Nishi has maintained a 4.13 GPA in the classroom. Also a standout Nordic skier, Nishi has volunteered locally on behalf of a food pantry and youth running programs.
“Sam has a unique ability to peak at the most opportune time,” said Harwood coach John Kerrigan. “His best races occur during the most important events.”
Nishi will begin his senior year of high school this fall.