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Return of the ROY: Nevada's Nick Hartle

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: Nick Hartle

Position: Distance runner

Grade: Senior

School: Centennial (Nev.)

College: Undecided

Height: 6-foot-1

Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade Nevada Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year ... 2010 Class 4A state meet individual champion ... 2010 Nike Cross Nationals Southwest Regional 11th-place finisher ... 2010-11 Gatorade Nevada Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year

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Academics: 3.97 GPA

Extracurricular activities: National Honor Society ... peer tutor

Centennial High head coach Mike McGuire: "Nick is an amazing young man who excels in everything he does. He's been a huge factor in our success as a team. He motivates the other kids to really rise above."

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 …

Nathaniel Williams SR Sierra Lutheran; Tanner Boone JR Churchill; Jordan Cardenas JR Reno

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.