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: Sam Prakel
School: Versailles (Ohio)
Athletic achievement: Prakel raced to the Division III individual state championship this past season with a time of 15:19.34. A 2011 First Team All-State selection, he took 14th at the Nike Cross Nationals Midwest Regional championships in 16:15.2. He also placed 80th at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional championships, crossing the line in 16:11.
Academic excellence: Prakel has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom and ranks first in his graduating class.
Exemplary character: An accomplished trombonist in his school’s concert and marching bands, he has volunteered locally on behalf of multiple community service initiatives in association with the Boys Scouts of America and his church youth group.
“I’ve never seen anyone who works as hard for his success as Sam Prakel,” said Versailles head coach Mark Pleiman. “He is as driven, focused and self-motivated a student athlete as you will ever find.”
THE FUTURE: Prakel will begin his senior year of high school this fall.