High School sports

2019 All-Metro boys cross country Runner of the Year: Anish Nanjappa, River Hill


River Hill’s Anish Nanjappa burst onto the cross country scene his freshman year with a 15th-place finish at the Class 3A state championships.

His years spent in the Bullseye Youth Running Club helped him prepare.


“We knew that Anish was going to be a really solid contributor to our team coming in because Howard County has a really solid foundation of youth running and he had been a Howard County Strider for a number of years,” River Hill coach Paul Hugus said.

After winning an individual state title his junior year, running a 15:58.08 at Hereford’s vaunted course, Nanjappa came into this season with several goals: win another state title, help the team to a state championship and break as many course records as possible.

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He didn’t disappoint as he went undefeated in all seven races he started, including setting the course record at the Seahawk Invitational, finishing it in 15:00.6. He won the Bull Run Invitational in 15:43.8, narrowly missing the Hereford course record, and ran a 14:57.3 to win the the Frank Keyser Invitaitonal.

He broke a 20-year old record on his home course when he won a tri-meet in 16:00.0 and broke the Centennial course record when he won the Howard County championship in 15:21.

He won the 3A state championship by 18 seconds, but was disappointed because he ran a 15:45.7, 2 seconds short of breaking the course record.

The disappointment faded as he went to cheer on this teammates finishing, realizing he had led them to their first state title since his freshman year.