Return of the ROY: Maine's Matt McClintock

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: Matt McClintock

Position: Distance runner

Grade: Senior

School: Madison Area Memorial (Maine)

College: Undecided

Height: 5-foot-10

Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade Maine Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year ... 2010 Runner of the Year as named by MaineTrackXC.com ... 2010 Foot Locker Northeast Regional 42nd-place finisher ... 2010 New England Cross Country Championships 57th-place finisher ... 2009 and 2010 Class C state meet individual champion ... 2009 New England Cross Country Championships 46th-place finisher ... 2008 Class C individual state runner-up


Academics: A-plus average (No. 1 in his graduating class)

Extracurricular activities: National Honor Society ... Athens Craft Fair volunteer ... Madison Food Pantry volunteer ... donated his time to his school's Thanksgiving dinner for senior citizens ... youth athletic instructor

Madison Area Memorial High head coach Bob Hagopian: "Matt entered high school with the goal to be Madison's best cross country runner of all time. His junior year, Matt was the fastest 5K runner in the state. He won by hard work and dedication. Matt’s next goals are to set some state records in track and field this spring -- and next fall to be the fastest cross country runner that this state has ever seen. Watching Matt put in the long running hours and doing his workouts without complaining, I truly believe he can reach these goals as well."

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 …

Silas Eastman JR Fryeburg Academy; Chase Brown SR Boothbay; Timothy Follo SR Falmouth; Nick Morris SR Scarborough; Dan Curts SO Ellsworth; Andy Reifman-Packett SR Mount Ararat; Josef Holt-Andrews SO Telstar

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.