SM North’s Belesti Akalu named Gatorade State Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year for Kansas

Coach Aaron Davidson with Belesit Akalu. Photo via SM North Twitter.
Coach Aaron Davidson with Belesit Akalu. Photo via SM North Twitter.

A remarkable year for SM North senior Belesti Akalu just continues to get more remarkable.

Last week, Gatorade named its 2015 State Boys Cross Country Runners of the Year, and Akalu — who only started running competitively this season — earned the title in Kansas.

“Belesti was hands down the most dominant runner I saw from Kansas this year, and it’s amazing to see what he accomplished having never run cross country before this year,” said SM West cross country coach Jeff Onnen in USA Today’s write up of the awards. “I think that speaks not just to his talent, but also to his level of dedication and commitment.”

Akalu won the individual state title in November with a time of 15:43.4 on the 5K course at Rim Rock Farm outside Lawrence.

You can see Akalu’s write up in USA Today here.