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: Jake Leingang
School: Bismarck (N.D.)
Athletic achievement: Leingang raced to a second consecutive Class A individual state championship this past season with a time of 14:59.80, leading the Demons to first place as a team. The state’s returning Gatorade Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, he placed second at both the Nike Cross Nationals Heartland Regional championships, in 15:26.58, and the Foot Locker Midwest Regional championships, in 15:10. He captured fourth place at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in 15:21.1 and took eighth at the Nike Cross Nationals Final in 15:34.61
Academic excellence: Also a track standout, Leingang has maintained a 3.65 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: An active member of his church youth group, he has volunteered locally at a soup kitchen and retirement home, in addition to donating his time as a youth running instructor.
“Jake has the remarkable ability to transform himself from a rather quiet, mind-my-own-business type of teenager to a fearless and relentless pursuit of racing rage,” said Bismarck head coach Darrell Anderson.
THE FUTURE: Leingang will begin his senior year of high school this fall.