Return of the ROY: Conn.'s Connor Rog

The 2011-12 Gatorade State Cross Country Runners of the Year selection process is underway, and what better way to kick off coverage than with profiles of returning underclassmen winners? Repeating is no guarantee, but here's a snapshot of what this year’s challengers can shoot for …

Name: Connor Rog

Position: Distance runner

Grade: Senior

School: Fairfield College Prep (Conn.)

College: Undecided

Height: 5-foot-5

Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade Connecticut Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year ... 2010 Class LL meet individual champion ... 2010 State Open individual runner-up ... 2010 New England Championships third-place finisher ... 2010 Foot Locker Northeast Regional 21st-place finisher


Academics: 3.27 GPA

Extracurricular activities: talented musician ... community beautification project volunteer ... raised funds to support cancer survivors

Spain Park head coach Michael Zelwak: "Connor is very tough. He has a great start, a great heart, and he never gives up. He's also a very team-oriented runner, and very respectful of others."

Each Gatorade State Runner of the Year is challenged by thousands of fellow high school athletes. These are a few of the returning boys cross country underclassmen that also contended in 2010-11 …

Muad Hrezi SR Naugatuck; Clark Shurtleff SR Amity

A dedicated POY team at ESPNHS manages the Gatorade Player of the Year program selection process and oversees all research, reporting, comparative analysis and criteria-compliance on the award program’s behalf. Candidates are judged upon athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders must also demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Any class year is eligible, senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of recruit rankings.

To nominate a student-athlete for Player of the Year honors, contact the POY team at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.