Payson High boys cross country team wasn't a state championship threat last fall, but that didn't stop coaches from recognizing the efforts of its best runner.
In a recent voting of Arizona Coaches Association members, senior Wes Sprinkle was selected to participate in the North vs. South All-Star cross-country meet June 5 in Casa Grande.
And, the news came as a surprise to Sprinkle.
"I really didn't think I'd be chosen. I only went out for cross country (as a sophomore) because running is about the only thing I'm good at athletically," he said.
Cross country coach Chuck Hardt said ACA members probably recognized Sprinkle for his consistent improvement over the course of his career and dedication to the sport.
At the state championship meet last fall, Sprinkle improved the time he ran the same course as a junior by more than a full minute.
In this summer's all-star run, Sprinkle will be a member of the North team which will also include many of the top-notch athletes from the Northern Arizona reservation schools.
"I'll be teammates with the best," he said.
In addition to cross country, Sprinkle is a member of the Longhorns track and field team competing in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs.
An honor student at Payson High, Sprinkle plans on attending the University of Arizona next school year.