Left to right: Zach Ourada, Blake Stoks and Blake Giese all received awards for their efforts on the Canby/Minneota boys cross country team.

Stoks is C/M boys cross-country MVP

Blake Stoks was named the Most Valuable Player on the Canby/Minneota boys cross country team recently in an outdoor awards program.
"As much as we would love to gather and celebrate the end of what was an amazing season, COVID has made it difficult to have our usual team awards night," said coach Allyson Pesek. "Everyone's healthy and safety is top priority.”
"However, I did not want to leave our runners without their earned recognition. Therefore, today after school I got together with a few boys to honor them for some of their great accomplishments throughout our 2020 season."
The awards for the girls cross country team will be announced soon.
Stoks, a junior who placed fifth in the Section 3A meet, was also honored for being selected All-State Academic and All-Conference Academic. All-State Academic requires a runner in grades 10-12 placing in the top 15 at sections, as well as having a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or higher. All-Conference Academic is for runners in grades 11 or 12 who maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or higher.
"Blake is our leader," said Pesek. "He is not only our team's No. 1 runner, but he is the voice motivating the team day in and day out."
Zach Ourada, in his first year on the varsity, was named the team's Most Improve Runner.
"Last year, Zach came along with the section team as an alternate," Pesek said. "This season, he rose up to being our consistent third runner on the team. He also improved throughout the season, taking over a minute off of his times from the beginning of the season to the end."
Blake Giese, an eighth-grader, was named Hardest Worker.
"He is always putting in extra effort," Pesek said. "Blake started his hard work early on in the summer with his determination of making the varsity team. It did not take long for us coaches to see he was ready to run with the big boys."
Stoks and Kolton Duis also received their Section 3A individual medals. Duis finished seventh at the section meet.

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