From many, there will be one. And while there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own state at this point in the season, a number of elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop on the latest top candidate.
Senior, Hardin Valley Academy (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Greatness Present: Templeton’s ninth-place finish at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships was, in his own words, a disappointing one, but perhaps he shouldn’t be so hard on himself.
Despite missing five weeks of his final prep season with a shin injury, the 5-foot-8 senior won a second consecutive Class AAA individual state championship this past fall, shattering the course record by more than 18 seconds with a time of 15:10.
He also captured the Foot Locker South Regional championships title in 14:36, breaking the tape eight seconds before his next-closest competitor.
Greatness Past: The state’s returning Gatorade Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, Templeton has not lost a race against in-state competition since 2011. After placing third at the 2012 Foot Locker South Regional championships, he clocked the top performance among underclassmen with a seventh-place finish at the 2012 FLCCC.
Templeton also finished third in the 2-mile run at the 2013 New Balance Indoor Nationals last winter.
Greatness Future: Templeton will run for Furman University in South Carolina.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year races aren’t over, and the National ROY race is now heating up. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list.Check back for daily updates on the top contenders making their case.