Dickinson runner Brady Yoder is one of the best runners in the country — literally.
Throughout his career, Yoder has been running up the awards, records and first-place finishes. After the 2018 season, Yoder was named the Gatorade North Dakota Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year. The only way to top it was by doing it again, so he did.
“I got it last year and getting it this year is still obviously just really cool,” he said. “It’s just an honor seeing the other 49 names that (I) know and that (I) compete with out there, and to be named like they are is just a really cool experience.”
In 2019 Yoder competed in four regular meets within North Dakota, placing first in all five, with his best time coming at the Billings Invite with a 15:13:22 finish, bringing his team a first-place finish as well. Even after a minor injury in which Yoder did not compete for a month, he returned for the WDA Cross Country Championships and placed first with a time of 15:40:68, helping his team earn a fourth-place stoppage.
Yoder had one final meet he was able to compete in, the 2019 North Dakota Class A State Championship. Yoder made history by becoming the first person from Dickinson to place first at the state meet in over 40 years, finishing with a time of 15:21.
Brady described how it felt to earn the award for the second consecutive year.
“It’s not the same, but it means just as much,” he said. “It’s one of the things I’m working for, just trying to be the best that I can be, trying to compete with other top guys in the country.”
Yoder credited his coaching staff and his teammates for helping achieve this historic honor.
“It comes back to the team and the coaching staff that we have,” he said. “(Having) three amazing coaches ... and then the team we have is just so much fun when you’re going to practice every day. Running can be a difficult sport to practice. You just enjoy all the hard work with the coaching staff; it just makes it so much fun and so much easier, and that just makes it so much better.”