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: Ben Anderson
School: Valley (West Des Moines, Iowa)
Athletic achievement: Anderson raced to the Class 4A individual state championship this past season with a time of 15:02, setting a state meet record for all classes by three seconds. He won seven of the 11 races he competed in last fall, including victories at the Tom Karpen Invitational, the Indianola Invitational and the Ankeny Invitational.
Academic excellence: Anderson has maintained a 3.27 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally as a peer math tutor, with the Hy-Vee Triathlon and as part of multiple community service initiatives in association with his church youth group.
“Ben is an outstanding runner and an outstanding individual,” said Valley coach Tom Trygstad. “He is extremely hard-working and it paid off with a terrific season.”
THE FUTURE: Anderson will begin his senior year of high school this fall.