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: Jacob Morgan
School: Washburn Rural (Topeka, Kan.)
Athletic achievement: Morgan raced to a second consecutive Class 6A individual state championship with a time of 15:28.50 this past season. A four-time All-City selection as named by The Topeka Capital-Journal, he placed 15th at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional championships in 15:28.50. Morgan also won the Rim Rock Farm High School Cross Country Classic in a course-record time of 15:13.18. He finished ninth at the 2009 Class 6A state meet as a sophomore and fourth in 2008 as a freshman.
Academic excellence: Morgan has maintained a 4.10 weighted GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and National Honor Society, he has volunteered locally as part of his school’s tutoring program, as a fundraiser for the athletic program and on behalf of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
“During the high school season, Jacob’s closest race was a 12-second win he posted at Rim Rock,” said Washburn Rural head coach Scott Shufelberger. “Otherwise, his victories were 30 seconds or more. He ran the fastest time of any Kansas high school cross country runner on any course anywhere this season.”
THE FUTURE: Morgan remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.