In its 26th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, announced Alex Sorensen of Evanston High School as its 2010-11 Gatorade Wyoming Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.

Sorensen is the first Gatorade Wyoming Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Evanston 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 Sorensen as Wyoming's best high school boys cross country runner.

Now a finalistfor the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year award to be announced in January, Sorensen 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 5-foot-8, 135-pound senior raced to the Class 4A individual state championship this past season with a time of 16:20.66. A 2010 First Team All-State selection, Sorensen took ninth place at the 2010 Nike Cross Nationals Northwest Regional championships, crossing the line in 15:53.6. He was also the fastest Wyoming runner at the Foot Locker West Regional championships, finishing 48th in 16:39.

Sorensen has maintained a 3.40 GPA in the classroom. An accomplished French horn player, he has volunteered locally on behalf of the Boy Scouts of America, the Special Olympics and multiple community-service initiatives in association with his church youth group.

"Alex Sorensen is a perfect example of what a hard-working, student-athlete can become," said Evanston High head coach Ryan Berger.

"He has been a terrific leader by example as both a person and a runner."

Sorensen remains undecided upon a college destination.

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 ESPN RISE 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.

Sorensen joins Gatorade Wyoming Boys Cross Country Runners of the Year Spencer Pecha (2009-10, Campbell County), and two-time winner Dominick Robinson (2008-09 & 2007-08, Campbell County) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007.