In its 29th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, announced Jonah Henry of Laramie High School the 2013-14 Gatorade Wyoming Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.

Henry is the first Gatorade Wyoming Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Laramie 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 Henry as Wyoming’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, Henry 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, 165-pound senior raced to the Class 4A individual state championship this past season with a time of 15:22.32, leading the Plainsmen to a state title as a team.

A three-time First Team All-State selection, Henry also captured 10th place at the 2013 Nike Cross Nationals Northwest Regional championships, crossing the line in 15:58.6.

Henry has maintained a 3.61 GPA in the classroom.

A member of his school’s concert choir, he has volunteered locally as a Sunday School teacher, a vacation bible camp counselor and on behalf of multiple community service initiatives in association with his church youth group.

“Jonah Henry has shown consistency and great character as a student-athlete throughout his career and the 2013 season,” said Art Baures, head coach at Sheridan High. “I am extremely impressed with him as a person and how he represents all high school athletes. He has always been gracious in victory and defeat and is admired and respected by coaches and athletes in our state.”

Henry has verbally committed to an athletic scholarship at the University of Wyoming beginning this fall.

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 the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, 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.

Henry joins Gatorade Wyoming Boys Cross Country Runners of the Year Ricky Faure (2012-13, Rock Springs High School), Oliver Scofield (2011-12, Jackson Hole High School), Alex Sorensen (2010-11, Evanston High School), Spencer Pecha (2009-10, Campbell County), and Dominick Robinson (2008-09 & 2007-08, Campbell County) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007.