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Keene’s Jake Velazquez is seen winning the Division I boys’ race at the NHIAA Divisional Cross Country Championships at Derryfield Park in Manchester last fall.

Keene High School senior distance runner Jake Velazquez was selected as the 2019-20 Gatorade New Hampshire Boys' Cross-country Runner of the Year.

Velazquez is the first Keene High cross-country runner to receive the award, which recognizes an athlete for their outstanding athletic and academic achievements. Velazquez is now a finalist for the Gatorade National Boys' Cross-country Runner of the Year award, which will be announced later this month. 

Velazquez won the NHIAA Meet of Champions boys' race at Mine Falls in Nashua on Nov. 2 with a personal-best time of 15 minutes, 12.5 seconds. He also won the NHIAA Division I boys' championship race in 15:32.4 and placed seventh at the New England Cross Country Championships with his time of 15:47. 

Velazquez's Meet of Champions time marked the second-fastest in meet history. His time to win the Division I title was the fifth-fastest in that meet's history.