A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2012 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
For his 50 fellow Gatorade State Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Jacob Burcham
School: Cabell Midland (Ona, W.Va.)
Weight: 153 pounds
Athletic achievement: A two-time Gatorade Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year and the returning Gatorade Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year, Burcham won the 800-meter run, the 1,600-meter run and the 3,200-meter run for a second straight year at the Class AAA state meet, leading the Knights to second place as a team. He broke his own state record in the 3,200 with a time of 8:57.73, tied his state record in the 800 (1:54.01) and nearly matched his own state record of 4:08.80 in the 1,600, settling for a 4:08.91. Burcham also placed second at the adidas Grand Prix Dream Mile on June 9 with a state-record time of 4:02.73 and followed that a week later by winning the mile at the New Balance Natioanls Outdoor championships in 4:08.80.
Academic excellence: Burcham has maintained a 3.92 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A member of his school’s Interact Club, he has volunteered locally doing routine maintenance and errands for the elderly and as a youth track coach and mentor.
“Despite being a tremendous individual runner, Jacob puts the goals of his team first and his individual honors second,” said Chris Parson, head coach at Cabell Midland. “Jacob lets his accomplishments speak for themselves. He is the best high school distance runner in state history.”
THE FUTURE: Burcham will begin his senior year of high school this fall.