High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Josh Thorson

Minnesota Boys XC ROY: Josh Thorson

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: Josh Thorson


School: Wayzata (Plymouth, Minn.)
Grade: Senior
Height: 6-foot


Athletic achievement: Thorson raced to the Class 2A individual state championship this past season with a time of 15:29.9. A three-time First Team All-State selection, he earned sixth place and was the fastest Minnesota competitor at the Nike Cross Nationals Heartland Regional championships, crossing the line in 15:38.5. He qualified for the 2011 Nike Cross Nationals Final, where he finished 73rd in 16:15.

Academic excellence: Thorson has maintained an 11.49 GPA on a 12-point scale in the classroom.

Exemplary character: An accomplished vocalist in his school’s concert choir, he has served as the online editor of his school’s newspaper and has volunteered locally on behalf of the National Honor Society.

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Eye on POY: Minnesota 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?

Josh Thorson
Senior, Wayzata (Plymouth, MN)

2011 Team postseason standing: Did Not Qualify (Class 2A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): First—15:29.9

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): Sixth—15:38.5
2011 Nike Cross Nationals Finals (Place—time): 73rd—16:15

Bryon Schuldt
Senior, Nevis (MN)

2011 Team postseason standing: Did Not Qualify (Class 1A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): First—15:55.3

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.

Riley Macon: Senior, Mayo (Rochester, MN)
Cole O'Brien: Senior, Burnsville (MN)
Troy Koivisto: Senior, Dassel-Cokato (Cokato, MN)
Glen Ellingson: Senior, School (Moorhead, MN)

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.