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Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Eye on POY: Iowa boys cross country

By Ben Rohrbach

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?

Ben Anderson
Junior, Valley (West Des Moines, Iowa)

2011 Team postseason standing: 8th (Class 4A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—15:02

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): 38th—16:15.17

Zach Buchheit
Senior, Pella (Iowa)

2011 Team postseason standing: 1st (Class 3A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—15:10

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): 18th—15:59.56

Keith Byers
Senior, Spirit Lake (Iowa)

2011 Team postseason standing: 6th (Class 2A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—15:36

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): 89th—16:42.88

Levi Storjohann
Senior, BCLUW (Conrad, Iowa)

2011 Team postseason standing: 4th (Class 1A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—15:57

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.

Jacob Aune: Senior, Prairie (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
Cole Decker: Senior, Dowling Catholic (West Des Moines, Iowa)
Josh Evans: Sophomore, Linn-Mar (Marion, Iowa)
Brook Price: Junior, Iowa City (Iowa)
Jason Thomas: Junior, Dowling Catholic (West Des Moines, Iowa)

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