Eye on POY: Alabama boys cross country

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?

Brandon Hazouri

Senior, Spain Park (Hoover, Ala.)

2010-11 Gatorade Alabama Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year

2011 Team postseason standing: 3rd (Class 6A)

2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—15:45.04

Griffin Lee

Junior, John Carroll Catholic (Birmingham, Ala.)

2011 Team postseason standing: 3rd (Class 5A)

2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—16:13.11

Alex Gilliland

Junior, Oneonta (Ala.)

2011 Team postseason standing: 6th (Class 4A)

2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—16:26.56

Leland Collins

Senior, Randolph School (Huntsville, Ala.)

2011 Team postseason standing: 1st (Class 3A)

2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—16:45.46

Adam Dunkerley

Senior, Westminster School at Oak Mountain (Birmingham, Ala.)

2011 Team postseason standing: 4th (Class 1A/2A)

2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—16:55.44

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.

Ryan Archie: Senior, Baker (Mobile, Ala.)

Payton Ballard: Junior, Mountain Brook (Ala.)

Ian Carter: Senior, Hewitt-Trussville (Trussville, Ala.)

Buddy Soto: Senior, Baker (Mobile, Ala.)

Gil Walton: Senior, Bayside Academy (Daphne, Ala.)

Cordaryl Whitehead: Senior, Opelika (Ala.)

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.