Gatorade Honor for National XC Champion Nico Young

Nico Young, the most dominant high school cross country runner of the past fall season, has been recognized as the California Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year by Gatorade, as part of its national "Player of the Year" program. 

Young, a senior at Newbury Park (CA) High who has signed with Northern Arizona University, had a fall season to rival the best ever -- if not THE best ever -- in prep cross country.

That included a national title at Nike Cross Nationals, setting a record on the 5,000-meter Glendoveer course (14:52.30); a near-record in running the second-fastest time ever on the Woodward Park 5K course to win a second consecutive CIF-Division II championship (14:28.50); a 30-second shattering of his 3-mile standard at the Riverside City Course (13:54.10) for a second consecutive Southern Section Division 2 title, and, to start the season, a national record for 3 miles (13:39.70) on the SilverLakes Sports Complex course in Norco at the Woodbridge Invitational.

While not associated with this honor, over the weekend Young set four national high school records at the Millrose Games at the Armory in New York City as part of his 7:56.97 shattering of the indoor 3,000 meter record.

Follow this link to read the MileSplitCA Runner of the Year story on Nico.

Carlie Dorostkar, a senior at Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego, won the girls award from Gatorade.

The Gatorade State Player of the Year award was established in 1985 to recognize the nation's most outstanding high school student-athletes for their athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character. 

The Gatorade State Player of the Year award winners are evaluated and selected on the basis of three criteria:

Athletic Excellence - Standout performance in their respective sport made at the high school, club, national or international levels of competition.

Academic Achievement - Review of GPA and class rank, as well as SAT and ACT scores, and academic honors distinctions.

Exemplary Character - Commitment to sportsmanship, character and community through membership and participation in positive activities.

Young is a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year award to be announced later in February.

Photo by Patrick Corsinita