High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Jacob Thomson

Kentucky Boys XC ROY: Jacob Thomson

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: Jacob Thomson


School: Holy Cross (Louisville, Ky.)
Grade: Junior
Height: 5-foot-9


Athletic achievement: Thomson raced to the Class A individual state championship this past season with a time of 15:55.83. The 2011 Kentucky Track and Cross Country Coaches Association Class A Runner of the Year, he earned seventh place and was the fastest Kentucky runner at the Foot Locker South Regional championships, crossing the line in 14:55. The 2011 First Team All-State selection qualified for the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships, where he finished 19th with a time of 15:42.

Academic excellence: Thomson has maintained a 3.70 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A devoted member of his church community and his school’s environmental club, he has volunteered locally as a youth cross country coach.

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Eye on POY: Kentucky Boys Cross Country

January, 13, 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?

Connor Sheryak
Junior, St. Xavier (Louisville, KY)

2011 Team postseason standing: First (Class 3A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): First—16:00.21

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): 17th—15:42.3

Taylor Sanders
Senior, North Oldham (Goshen, KY)

2011 Team postseason standing: First (Class 2A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): First—16:20.40

Jacob Thomson
Junior, Holy Cross (St. Louis, KY)

2011 Team postseason standing: Ninth (Class 1A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): First—15:55.83

2011 Foot Locker regional (Place—time): Seventh—14:55
2011 Foot Locker nationals (Place—time): 19th—15:42

Winning the state meet isn't a prerequisite for Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year, so here are some more of many other harriers whose performances this past season vaulted them into the conversation during this 2011 campaign.

Nicholas Laureano: Junior, Lexington Catholic (Lexington, KY)
Sam Lewis: Junior, St. Xavier (Louisville, KY)
Nicholas Waltman: Sophomore, Sayre (Lexington, KY)

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Runner of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com or Twitter @ESPNHS_Awards.