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Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Eye on POY: Arkansas Boys Cross Country

By Joel Beck

The cross country season may have concluded, but the search for Gatorade State Boys Cross Country Runners of the Year is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated. These state meet winners made a case in their respective classifications, but did they do enough on and off the course this past season to capture the prestigious statewide honor?

Will Aenchbacher
Senior, Bentonville (AR)

2011 Team postseason standing: First (Class 7A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): First—16:24

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): 13th—16:02.85

Will Norris
Senior, Mountain Home (AR)

2011 Team postseason standing: First (Class 6A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): First—17:07

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): 60th—16:59.31

Ben Fiser
Sophomore, Little Rock Christian (Little Rock, AR)

2011 Team postseason standing: Did Not Qualify(Class 5A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): First—17:54

Daniel Evans
Junior, Shiloh Christian (Springdale, AR)

2011 Team postseason standing: Third (Class 4A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): First—17:45

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): 155th—17:55.90

Christian Heymsfield
Senior, Elkins (AR)

2011 Team postseason standing: First (Class 3A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): First—16:44

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): 21st—16:18.07

Jeffrey Scott
Senior, Caddo Hills (AR)

2011 Team postseason standing: First (Class 1A/2A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): First—17:58

Winning the state meet isn't a prerequisite for Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year, so here are some more of many other harriers whose performances this past season vaulted them into the conversation during this 2011 campaign.

Jerry Melnyk: Senior, Little Rock Central (Little Rock, AR)
Jesse Duval: Senior, Russellville (AR)
Danny Moss: Senior, Greene County Tech (Paragould, AR)

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Runner of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at or Twitter @ESPNHS_Awards.