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Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Eye on POY: North Dakota 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?

Jake Leingang
Junior, Bismarck (N.D.)

2011 Team postseason standing: 1st (Class A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—14:59.80

2011 Foot Locker regional (Place—time): 2nd—15:10
2011 Foot Locker nationals (Place—time): 4th—15:21.2

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): 2nd—15:26.58
2011 Nike Cross Nationals Finals (Place—time): 8th—15:34.61

Ken Wells
Senior, Parshall (N.D.)

2011 Team postseason standing: DNQ (Class B)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—16:12.70

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): 37th—16:14.78

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.

Brandon Berg: Junior, Bismarck (N.D.)
Chris Chamberlin: Junior, Williston (N.D.)
Lane Kashur: Junior, Bismarck (N.D.)
Preston Lerew: Sophomore, Bismarck (N.D.)
Austin Todd: Senior, Bismarck (N.D.)

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.