Gatorade named San Luis Obispo High senior Callum Bolger its California Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year on Monday.
“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 Bolger as California’s best high school boys cross country runner,” Gatorade wrote in a news release.
Bolger’s season included a CIF Division 4 state championship and a 10th place finish at the Foot Locker Cross Country National Championships. Bolger, who signed to compete at Stanford next season, also won the Southern Section championships, the PAC 8 League championships, the Mt. SAC Invitational and was named the Tribune’s Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.
Gatorade cited Bolger’s 4.52 GPA and his volunteer work with United Way and the San Luis Obispo Bike Kitchen as additional factors to winning the award. Former Mission Prep and University of Oregon runner Jordan Hasay was named Gatorade’s California Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year in 2009.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Bolger is now a finalist for the national award and will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a $1,000 grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Bolger plans to donate the money to the DeGroot Youth Activities Endowment Fund, a local nonprofit established to help children who may not be able to participate in activities, including youth sports.
Wednesday marks the first day of 2017 that high school athletes can sign with colleges, and there are a few ceremonies planned around San Luis Obispo County.
Atascadero senior Elijah Cooks will sign his National Letter of Intent (NLI) to play football at Nevada at 9 a.m. at Atascadero High.
Morro Bay High senior Emma Hotaling and San Luis Obispo High senior and last year’s Tribune Girls Soccer Player of the Year Grace Park will both sign with the Cal Poly women’s soccer team Wednesday. Park’s ceremony begins at 12:10 p.m. at SLO High and Hotaling’s ceremony is at 3:15 p.m. at Morro Bay High.
Nipomo girls wrestling
Three Nipomo High wrestlers took first place and the Titans finished in second place to Pioneer Valley on Saturday at the Central Coast Girls Wrestling Association Championships.
Abril Sanchez (106), Jacky Millan (170) and Alexis Garcia (235) all finished first in Santa Maria.
Nipomo will compete in the CIF Northern Regional meet Saturday at Pioneer Valley High.
Key soccer clash
This week is looking to be a big one in the world of prep sports, with plenty of league championship and playoff implications.
No matchup is bigger than a clash Wednesday in San Luis Obispo between SLO High and Pioneer Valley, the top two boys soccer teams in the PAC 8. The winner will likely take control of the top spot and be on track for a league title.
Pioneer Valley defeated SLO High 3-0 when the teams last met on Jan. 11.