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: Bernie Montoya
School: Cibola (Yuma, Ariz.)
Athletic achievement: Montoya raced to the Division 1 individual state championship this past season with a time of 15:46.74. He won the Desert Twilight Festival, the Sole Sports Running Zone Festival, the Central Park Invitational and the Cibola Invitational. He also finished 12th at the Nike Cross Nationals Final with a time of 15:39.01.
Academic excellence: Montoya has maintained a B average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A devoted member of his church community, he has volunteered locally on behalf of a shelter for victims of domestic abuse.
“Bernie has a passion and love for the sport, and he desires to compete and win at the highest level,” said Cibola head coach Kris Norton. “He fits the perfect mold of the athlete who never misses a practice and always pushes each and every workout to the limit.”
THE FUTURE: Montoya will begin his senior year of high school in the fall.