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: Griffin Lee
School: John Carroll Catholic (Birmingham, Ala.)
Athletic achievement: Lee raced to the Class 5A individual state championship this past season with a time of 16:13.11, leading the Cavaliers to third place as a team. A three-time All-State selection, he also won the Mobile Cross Country Challenge of Champions in 16:27.70. He captured second place at the 2010 Class 5A state meet as a sophomore and finished seventh in 2009 as a freshman.
Academic excellence: Also a basketball, baseball and track standout, Lee has maintained a 3.56 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A member of the Spanish Honor Society and his school’s Honors Choir, he has volunteered on behalf of his church, a camp for children diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and the American Baseball Foundation’s Baseball & Academic Skills Instructional Course (B.A.S.I.C.).
“He understands the race and what he has to do,” said John Carroll Catholic head coach Bryan Burgess. “If there’s anybody out there that you want on your side, you want him, because he’s going to get the job done. When it comes time to run the race, he’s as focused as anybody. When he’s not running, it’s all about his teammates. He is the ultimate team player. He’s got that leadership quality.”
THE FUTURE: Lee will begin his senior year of high school this fall.