High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Linganore

Maryland Boys XC ROY: Braden Bruning

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: Braden Bruning


School: Linganore (Frederick, Md.)
Grade: Senior
Height: 5-foot-11


Athletic achievement: Bruning raced to the Class 3A individual state championship this past season with a time of 16:20.8, leading the Landers to second place as a team. A 2011 Washington Post First Team All-Metro selection, he took eighth and was the fastest Maryland competitor at the Nike Cross Nationals Southeast Regional championships, crossing the line in 15:30.4.

Academic excellence: Bruning has maintained a 4.33 weighted GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A four-year member of his school’s marching band and jazz ensemble, he has volunteered locally on behalf of the National Honor Society and his church youth group, recently completing a service-mission trip to New Orleans.

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Eye on POY: Maryland Boys Cross Country

December, 29, 2011
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?

Scott Sheehan
Senior, Walter Johnson (Bethesda, MD)

2011 Team postseason standing: First (Class 4A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): First—16:28.50

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional
(Place—time): 48th—16:04

Braden Bruning
Senior, Linganore (Frederick, MD)

2011 Team postseason standing: Second (Class 3A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): First—16:20

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): Eighth—15:30

Austin McKinley
Senior, Rising Sun (North East, MD)

2011 Team postseason standing: Eighth (Class 2A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): First—16:20.90

2011 Foot Locker regional (Place—time): 31st—16:43
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.

Kevin Corbusier: Senior, Loyola Blakefield (MD)
Evan Laretta: Senior, Quince Orchard (North Potomac, MD)
Ryan Pfarr: Senior, Bohemia Minor (Chesapeake City, MD)
Hassan Omar: Senior, Governor Thomas Johnson (Frederick, MD)

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.