High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Colton Ham

New Hampshire Boys XC ROY: Colton Ham

January, 23, 2012
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: Colton Ham


School: Merrimack Valley (Penacook, N.H.)
Grade: Senior
Height: 6-foot


Athletic achievement: Ham raced to the Division 2 individual state championship this past season with a time of 16:10, leading the Pride to fourth place as a team. A First Team All-State selection as named by the New Hampshire Union Leader, he placed seventh at the Meet of Champions in 15:58.50 and finished 25th at the New England Cross Country Championships in 16:25. He took second in the Manchester Invitational Large School competition this past fall, crossing the line in 16:24. He recorded a third-place finish at the 2010 Division 2 state meet as a junior.

Academic excellence: Ham has maintained a B average in the classroom.

Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a youth running instructor, he has volunteered locally as part of charitable running events, an elementary school health fair and tornado cleanup efforts.

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Eye on POY: New Hampshire boys cross country

January, 17, 2012
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?

Dylan Lafond
Senior, Central (Manchester, N.H.)

2011 Team postseason standing: 4th (Division 1)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—15:59

2011 Foot Locker regional (Place—time): 80th—17:45.6

Colton Ham
Senior, Merrimack Valley (Penacook, N.H.)

2011 Team postseason standing: 4th (Division 2)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—16:10

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