Burns named Missouri Gatorade Boys XC Player of Year

Connor Burns added another banner accomplishment to an already award-filled cross-country season.

The senior from Southern Boone County and Oregon signee was named the 2022-23 Gatorade Missouri Boys Cross Country Player of the Year -- the first from his school to secure such an honor.

The award recognized not only athletic excellence but also academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the course, according to a press release from Gatorade.

Burns won the MSHSAA Class 3 XC state championship for the second year in a row and capped an unbeaten regular season. He also delivered the state's fastest performance at the Midwest Regionals with a personal-best 14:27.3.

He won seven of the nine meets he entered last fall and was undefeated in MSHSAA competition. 

Burns has a 4.0-grade point average in the classroom and volunteers at a local food bank. He was his class president in his junior year.

Gatorade honors a Player of the Year from each state and one from the District of Columbia. Every winner receives a grant to give to one of Gatorade's social impact partners. Burns is also a finalist for the Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Player of the Year Award.