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Ashland’s Stein wins state Gatorade award

Ashland senior Cameron Stein

Ashland senior Cameron Stein has been chosen the Gatorade Oregon boys cross-country runner of the year, keeping the honor in Southern Oregon for a fifth straight year.

Stein’s award comes after his former teammate, EJ Holland, won it twice, and Crater’s Andy Monroe did likewise the two years prior to that.

Stein is headed to the University of Oregon to compete, where he’ll join Holland.

“Cam’s hunger to be the best, even while running in the shadow of some of the best runners in the Northwest, never diminished,” said Ashland coach Karl Pryor. “He has an abiding confidence in himself. He knew his time would come.”

The award recognizes athletic excellence as well as academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field.

Stein punctuated the six-week cross-country season by winning the Rose City Championship Invitational April 10 with a time of 14 minutes, 32.2 seconds for the 5,000-meter race.

It ranked him among the best in the country, and it was his third straight race under 15 minutes, giving him four wins in six events as a senior.

Stein also captured the Southern Oregon regional championship in 14:40.6.

He took fifth at the Class 5A state meet as a junior, helping the Grizzlies to the state title as a team.

Stein has continued to shine during the current track and field season, which ends next week. According to athletic.net rankings, he ran the nation’s fastest 3,000 on May 1 with a time of 8:18.89 in the Phillips-Klimek Distance Twilight Meet at Phoenix High.

Stein has volunteered for relief efforts for wildfire victims and for the Ashland Parks and Recreation Youth Conservation Corps.

He has maintained a 4.08 GPA in the classroom.

The Gatorade program annually recognizes top high school players in each state for a variety sports awards one national player of the year in each sport.