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: Roland Hakes
School: Dutch Fork (Irmo, S.C.)
Athletic achievement: Hakes raced to a second consecutive Class AAAA individual state championship this past season with a time of 15:10, leading the Silver Foxes to fourth place as a team. The state’s returning Gatorade Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, he won the Run Wild Festival, the SCTCCA Coaches Classic, the Region 7-AAAA meet and Class AAAA Lower State championships. The Runner of the Year as named by SCRunners.com, he placed eighth at the 2009 Class AAAA state meet as a sophomore and finished 16th in 2008 as a freshman.
Academic excellence: Also a track standout, Hakes has maintained a 3.63 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: In addition to serving as a lifeguard at a community pool, he has volunteered in association with his church youth group.
“Roland is an amazing individual and student-athlete,” said Dutch Fork head coach Barry Lindler. “He’s focused and understands the goal of the training program. He understands patience and the value of hard work. His focus is always what’s best for the team, and he never seeks recognition for his accomplishments. Roland takes every race as a learning experience, analyzes everything and applies what he learns.”
THE FUTURE: Hakes remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.