Return of the ROY: Christian Heymsfield

The 2011-12 Gatorade State Cross Country Runners of the Year selection process is underway, and what better way to kick off coverage than with profiles of returning underclassmen winners? Repeating is no guarantee, but here's a snapshot of what this year’s challengers can shoot for …

Name: Christian Heymsfield

Position: Distance runner

Grade: Senior

School: Elkins (Ark.)

College: Undecided

Height: 5-foot-4

Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade Arkansas Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year ... 2010 Class 3A state meet individual champion ... 2010 Class 3A state meet team champion ... 2008-2010 First Team All-State selection ... 2008-2010 First Team All-Conference selection


Academics: 4.14 GPA

Extracurricular activities: church youth group member ... local volunteer on behalf of the Engineering Research Center at the University of Arkansas

Ben Lairamore, head coach of rival Eureka Springs High: "Christian Heymsfield is one of the finest runners I've ever had the chance to watch. He is as highly competitive as any kid in the nation."

Each Gatorade State Runner of the Year is challenged by thousands of fellow high school athletes. These are a few of the returning boys cross country underclassmen that also contended in 2010-11 …

Dyland Hosman SR Paragould; Will Norris SR Mountain Home; Aidan Swain SR Fayetteville; Will Aenchbacher SR Bentonville; Jerry Melnyk SR Little Rock Central; Martin Maravillas SR Green Forest; Tanner Elliot SR Trinity Christian; Jeffrey Scott SR Caddo Hills

A dedicated POY team at ESPNHS manages the Gatorade Player of the Year program selection process and oversees all research, reporting, comparative analysis and criteria-compliance on the award program’s behalf. Candidates are judged upon athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders must also demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Any class year is eligible, senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of recruit rankings.

To nominate a student-athlete for Player of the Year honors, contact the POY team at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.