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Indiana Boys Track AOY: Futsum Zeinasellassie

A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2012 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For his 50 fellow Gatorade State Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Futsum Zeinasellassie

THE BASICS

School: North Central (Indianapolis, Ind.)

Grade: Senior

Event(s): Distance

Height: 5-foot-8

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Zeinasellassie broke a 37-year-old meet record and captured his fourth consecutive state title in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 8:51.15 this spring. The Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, he also won the 3,200 at California’s Arcadia Invitational in a record time of 8:47.75 for an Indiana prep, which ranked as the nation’s No. 1 performance among prep competitors in 2012 at the time of his selection.

Academic excellence: Zeinasellassie has maintained a B average in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A devoted member of his church community, where his father is a pastor, he has volunteered with youth track programs and raised funds to benefit a school in Kenya. Zeinasellassie emigrated to the United States from the east African nation of Eritrea (AIR-ih-treeah) as a seventh grader.

THE PRAISE

“It’s been a humbling experience just working with Futsum,” said North Central distance coach Byron Simpson. “He always does the right thing and he’s always been supportive of everyone else. He’s a kid who I think has a whole lot more left in him.”

THE FUTURE: Zeinasellassie has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in cross country and track and field on scholarship at Northern Arizona University this fall.