The 5-foot-6, 135-pound junior is the first Gatorade Maine Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year to represent the Broncos.
The award not only recognizes outstanding athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the race course and makes Casavant a finalist for the Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year award.
Casavant finished second at the Class A state meet last season with a time of 16 minutes, 31.26 seconds, leading Hampden to a third-place finish in the team standings. He went on to place 20th at the New England High School Interscholastic Cross Country Championships and was the highest Maine finisher in that race.
Casavant won four of his eight races overall on the season while leading Hampden to the Class A North championship as well as the KVAC Class A title.
Casavant has maintained an A average in the classroom and represents one of the state’s top academic candidates in meeting the Gatorade award’s broad criteria.
A black belt in Shotokan Karate, he has volunteered locally as a freshman mentor and as a youth running coach.
“Paul Casavant is the most complete runner I have ever coached,” Hampden coach Dick Balentine said. “He is the heart and soul of our cross-country team, leading by example every day with his enthusiasm and work ethic.”
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross-country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track and field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport.
Orono’s Tia Tardy previously was named Maine’s 2015-2016 Gatorade runner of the year for girls cross-country.
Casavant joins Aaron Willingham (2014-2015, Mt. Blue of Farmington), Josef Holt-Andrews (2013-2014, Telstar of Bethel), Daniel Curts (2012-2013, Ellsworth), Matt McClintock (2011-2012 and 2010-2011, Madison), Will Geoghegan (2009-2010 and 2008-2009, Brunswick) and Nick Williams (2007-2008, Poland) as athletes who have won the Gatorade Maine Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year award since its inception in 2007.