In its 29th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Jackson Bertoli of Terre Haute South Vigo High School as its 2013-14 Gatorade Indiana Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year. Bertoli is the first Gatorade Indiana Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Terre Haute South Vigo High School. The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the racecourse, distinguishes Bertoli as Indiana’s best high school boys cross country runner. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year award to be announced in January, Bertoli joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Ryan Hall (1999-00, 2000-01, Big Bear HS, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Kevin Garnett (1992-93, Maudlin HS, S.C.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.) and Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.). The 6-foot-3, 160-pound senior raced to the individual state championship this past season with a time of 15:32.4. Bertoli also won his Sectional and Semi-state championships, and finished fifth at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional championships, in 15:14. Bertoli has maintained a 3.50 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally on behalf of food drives and charity races and has raised funds to benefit cancer research. “Three years ago, Jackson set a goal to win an individual state title and lead a team to a top five finish,” said Terre Haute South Vigo head coach Kyle Walsh. “I’ll never forget his face when I quietly told him that we placed fifth at the state meet. He could not contain the excitement and it meant more to him than the individual state title. I’ve never met a young man so dedicated to the task at hand.” Bertoli has verbally committed to an athletic scholarship at Indiana University beginning this fall.
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