CHICAGO — Kearney (Neb.) High School junior Jacob Olson is the Gatorade Nebraska Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.

Olson is now a finalist for the national award to be announced later this month, according to a press release from Gatorade and ESPN RISE.

The award recognizes athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the racecourse.

Olson won the Class A and all-class golds in 2010 with a time of 16 minutes, 4.3 seconds. He maintains an A average in the classroom and is an active volunteer with other members of his church youth group.

“Jacob Olson has a drive to succeed that you just can’t teach,” said Kearney High head coach Luke Garringer in the press release. “He is extremely coachable and always knows what to do in order to ensure that he improves.”

Olson is the first Kearney runner to receive the cross country award since its inception in 2007.