Seward junior Miles Knotek was named the 2011-12 Gatorade Alaska Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year on Monday.
Knotek is the first boys runner from Seward to get the award. He also is now a finalist for the Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.
The award recognizes athletic excellence, academic achievement and good character.
Knotek won the Class 1-2-3A boys state title in 2011 with a time of 16 minutes, 23 seconds. That led the Seward boys to a third-place finish at the state meet. Knotek also won the Region III/1-2-3A title, the Seward Invitational, the Nikiski Class Races and the ACS Class Challenge this year. He was second at the Skyview Invitational.
Knotek also has a 3.96 grade-point average. He is a peer tutor at Seward High School, and also has volunteered locally on behalf of youth track programs and a community garden project.
“Miles is determined in the heat of competition and resilient,” said Seward head coach Dan Marshall in a released statement. “He’s willing to experiment with his race and not just rely on one universal strategy.”