A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
For his 50 fellow Gatorade State Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Mike Marsella
School: Chariho (Wood River Junction, R.I.)
Athletic achievement: Marsella raced to the All-State Meet individual championship this past season with a time of 15:51, leading the Chargers to second place as a team. A First Team All-State selection as named by the Providence Journal and Rhode Island Track Coaches Association, he won the New England Cross Country Championships in 15:26. He took fourth at the Nike Cross Nationals Northeast Regional championships in 16:14.7 and finished 19th at the Nike Cross Nationals Final in 15:42.96.
Academic excellence: Also a track standout, Marsella has maintained a 3.52 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a youth baseball instructor, he has volunteered on behalf of charity road races, community cleanup efforts, the Westerly Senior Citizens Center and the WARM Center to benefit the homeless.
“In nearly 40 years of coaching I have never had a student athlete who comes close to the talent of Mike Marsella,” said Chariho head coach Bill Haberek. “His quality performances have led to team successes impacting Chariho athletic history. His character, determination, work ethic and leadership have impacted the Chariho running program in a most positive way.”
THE FUTURE: Marsella remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.