Anderson Named Gatorade Iowa Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year

Ben AndersonValley junior Ben Anderson has been named the 2011-2 Gatorade Iowa Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year after winning the Class 4A individual state championship in a time of 15:02 and setting a state meet record for all classes.

Anderson is the first Gatorade Iowa Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year from Valley. He won seven of the 11 races he competed in this year, including victories at the Tom Karpen Invitational, the Indianola Invitation and the Ankeny Invitational. He also volunteers as a peer math tutor, with the Hy-Vee Triathlon and as part of multiple community service initiatives in association with his church youth group.

“Ben is an outstanding runner and an outstanding individual,” said Valley coach Tom Trygstad. “He is extremely hard working and it paid off with a terrific season.”

The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the racecourse. The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by ESPNHS and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.