Perhaps it was fitting that Aidan Troutner was surprised by family members and friends after walking home for lunch on Tuesday in Provo, Utah.
Considering the type of cross country season Troutner had, including his first Class 5A championship in Utah, a win at NXR Southwest and a shocking come-from-behind win at Nike Cross Nationals in December, it was only fair he received the same kind of shock treatment.
On Tuesday the Timpview High senior found out what it all meant, winning the coveted Gatorade Nationals Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year honor.
The Brigham Young University signee became the 11th overall winner of the award, joining elite company across Gatorade's awards program, which has been recognizing the best in high school sports for the past 33 years.
He follows a distinguished panel of former winners, including Casey Clinger, Drew Hunter, Grant Fisher, Edward Cheserek and Futsum Zienasellassie, among others. Like Clinger, who was a two-time winner of NXN, Troutner will continue his career at BYU, though he commented it will be deferred after he returns from a mission serving through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The 5-foot-9 athlete is coming off an amazing performance at NXN, where he unleashed a lethal kick in the final 400 meters to win in 15:03.9. He also won NXR Southwest in a 5K best of 14:50.00 and earned a then-career-defining win at the Class 5A championships in Utah, finishing in 14:48.80. He also claimed victories at the Region 7 Championships (14:59.84), the Nebo XC Invitational (14:38.30) and the BYU Autumn Classic (14:19.10)
Beyond cross country and track and field, Troutner is a youth leader with his church and volunteered locally as an Eagle Scout with the Boys Scouts of America. He's held a 3.89 GPA in the class room.
Gatorade Champions Since 2007
- 2016: Casey Clinger, American Fork (UT), NXN
- 2015: Drew Hunter, Loudoun Valley (VA), FLN
- 2014: Grant Fisher, Grand Blanc (MI), FLN
- 2013: Grant Fisher, Grand Blanc (MI), FLN
- 2012: Edward Cheserek, St. Benedict's (NJ), FLN
- 2011: Futsum Zeinasellassie, North Central (IN), NXN -- also second at FLN
- 2010: Lukas Verzbicas, Sandburg (IL), FLN & NXN
- 2009: Lukas Verzbicas, Sandburg (IL), FLN
- 2008: Reed Connor, The Woodlands (TX), NXN
- 2007: Chris Derrick, Neuqua Valley (IL), NXN -- also second at FLN
- Katelyn Tuohy wins National Girls Cross Country Runner Of The Year
- Here's Who Should Win Gatorade's National Runner Of The Year Boys Award
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- Aidan Troutner Upsets Brodey Hasty At Nike Cross Nationals
- Aidan Troutner & Sadie Sargent Roll To Opening Wins At Highland Invite