High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: American Fork

Utah Boys XC ROY: Clayton Young

January, 23, 2012
1/23/12
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Return of the ROY: Clayton Young
John Dye/ESPNHSClayton Young is the returning Gatorade Utah Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.
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: Clayton Young

THE BASICS

School: American Fork (Utah)
Grade: Senior
Height: 5-foot-10

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Young raced to third place at the Nike Cross Nationals Southwest Regional this past season with a time of 15:14.7. The state’s returning Gatorade Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, he was 24th at the NXN Final, leading the Cavemen to a sixth-place finish as a team. He also finished third at the Class 5A state meet, helping American Fork to the team title, and earned victories at the Wasatch Invitational, the Nebo Invitational and the Provo Bulldog Invitational.

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Eye on POY: Utah boys cross country

January, 11, 2012
1/11/12
5:55
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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?

Mackenzie Morrison
Senior, American Fork High (American Fork, UT)

2011 Team postseason standing: 1st (Class 5A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—15:22.4

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): 7th—15:27.26
2011 Nike Cross Nationals Finals (Place—time): 183rd—17:29

Jacob Heslington
Junior, Timpanogos High (Orem, UT)

2011 Team postseason standing: 6th (Class 4A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—15:39.5

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): 13th—15:37.67

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Return of the ROY: Utah's Clayton Young

October, 21, 2011
10/21/11
4:00
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The 2011-12 Gatorade State Cross Country Runners of the Year selection process is underway, and what better way to kick off coverage than with profiles of returning underclassmen winners? Repeating is no guarantee, but here's a snapshot of what this year’s challengers can shoot for …

Return of the ROY: Clayton Young
John Dye/ESPNHSClayton Young is the returning Gatorade Utah Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.
Name: Clayton Young

Position: Distance runner

Grade: Senior

School: American Fork (Utah)

College: Undecided

Height: 5-foot-10

Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade Utah Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year ... 2010 Class 5A state meet individual champion ... 2010 Class 5A state meet team champion ... 2010 Nike Cross Nationals Southwest Regional fifth-place finisher ... 2010 Nike Cross Nationals Final 96th-place finisher ... 2009 Class 5A state meet fourth-place finisher

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POY Potential: Top 5 Utah football recruits

October, 12, 2011
10/12/11
1:28
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The Gatorade Player of the Year Program honors athletes who meet comprehensive and exacting criteria in high school sports. Candidates are judged on athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders also must demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of ESPNU's recruit rankings.

That being said, the state’s top five football recruits as ranked by ESPNU are sure to enter the 2011-12 Gatorade Football Player of the Year conversation at some point. Here they are …

1. Bingham High (South Jordan, Utah) outside linebacker Jared Afalava
  • ESPNU position rank: No. 20 OLB
  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Weight: 220 pounds
  • College: Undecided
  • Traits: inside run support, outside run support, tackling, coverage skill
  • ESPNU scouting report: "Afalava demonstrates very good playing speed; displays the playing strength to dominate against the run while showing the flexibility, balance and agility to play in space as a pass defender. Has the size and athleticism for the outside linebacker position at the major level of competition."

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