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Prep Talk Player of the Year for boys cross country: Christopher Nowak, Sweet Home

The #PrepTalkCountdown continues.

We are unveiling the Prep Talk Players of the Year (more than 35 total honorees) as we count down to the Prep Talk Awards on June 14 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo.

Christopher Nowak

School: Sweet Home

Class: Senior

Twitter: @chrisjnowak

#PrepTalkResume: Chris finished fourth at the state championships outside of Binghamton. It was his fourth straight appearance at the event.

Statistics 101: Chris earned a trip to states with a 16:37 time to finish fifth in Class B at the Section VI championships on Grand Island. His personal best came a week before that at the ECIC Championships (15:57), when he was 10 seconds ahead of the field.

Favorite moment in high school competition: Freshman year cross country sectionals (2013), winning sectional title, or 2017 indoor track state champions - placing second and breaking the WNY record in the 1,000 meters.

Favorite high school teammate: Sam Peterman

Toughest high school opponent (team): East Aurora

Toughest high school opponent (individual): Ian Russ

Chris Nowak of Sweet Home lines up at the start of a a 1,600-meter race he would win at the ADPRO Sports Panthers Track & Field Invitational. (James P. McCoy/Buffalo News)

Role model: Brian Lombardo

Pro/college athlete I look up to: Clayton Murphy

I wouldn't be here without these people: My parents, my coaches, and all my fellow runners

When I'm not playing or practicing my sport, I'm ... : Sleeping or eating

Favorite academic subject: Science

Planned college major: Undecided

Future plans: University at Buffalo

* * *

#PrepTalkAwards info

What: The fourth annual Prep Talk Awards – our version of Oscar Night for WNY high school sports.

When: Wednesday, June 14, 5:30 p.m.

Where: Hyatt Regency Buffalo Hotel and Conference Center.

Headliners (other than the athletes): The night features radio personalities Janet Snyder and Nicholas Picholas while former Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson will be the guest speaker. News Deputy Sports Editor Keith McShea is your host.

Reservations and tickets: Contact Megan Termini at 716-849-5551 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or via

Who's invited: We will honor the Prep Talk Players of the Year in every sport that we cover – along with the All-Western New York football first team and the first-team members of the All-Western New York boys and girls basketball teams. There will also be some very special Prep Talk Awards: Male and Female Athlete of the Year, Coach of the Year, Team of the Year and Program of the Year (and some surprises).

What's the night like? Here's a video wrapuup of the 2016 awards. Check out a photo gallery of the 2016 Prep Talk Awards winners as well as a Smiles photo gallery from last year's event. Here's a look back the 2016 Prep Talk Players of the Year, finalists for other Prep Talk Awards and the night's big winners.

Special Prep Talk Awards section in The Buffalo News: Published Saturday, June 17.

Who will be the Prep Talk Team of the Year? Miguel Rodriguez's final Power 10 of the fall determined our choices of the top teams from the first season of the school year. Rodriguez's final Power 10 of the winter listed our choices from the second season of 2014-15. The No. 1 in each season's Power 10 becomes a finalist for Prep Talk Team of the Year.

Sponsorship opportunities: Contact your Buffalo News sales representative or Ann Brooker at 849-4413 or

* * *

Prep Talk Players of the Year

Girls soccer: Marissa Birzon, Williamsville East (announced May 30)

Boys soccer: Pa Lu, I-Prep (May 30)

Girls cross country: Danielle Orie, Nardin (May 31)

Boys cross country: Christopher Nowak, Sweet Home (May 31)

Girls volleyball: Coming soon

Boys volleyball: Coming soon

Field hockey: Coming soon

Girls gymnastics: Coming soon

Girls swimming: Coming soon

Boys swimming: Coming soon

Program of the Year finalists: Coming soon

Coach of the Year finalists: Coming soon

Girls indoor track: Coming soon

Boys indoor track: Coming soon

Wrestling: Coming soon

Girls hockey: Coming soon

Boys hockey: Coming soon

Rifle: Coming soon

Girls bowling: Coming soon

Boys bowling: Coming soon

Girls squash: Coming soon

Boys squash: Coming soon

Girls tennis: Coming soon

Boys tennis: Coming soon

Girls rowing: Coming soon

Boys rowing: Coming soon

Softball: Coming soon

Baseball: Coming soon

Girls rugby: Coming soon

Boys rugby: Coming soon

Girls lacrosse: Coming soon

Boys lacrosse: Coming soon

Girls golf: Coming soon

Boys golf: Coming soon

Girls track and field: Coming soon

Boys track and field: Coming soon

Girls three-sport athlete: Coming soon

Boys three-sport athlete: Coming soon

Fourth annual #PrepTalkAwards: Wednesday, June 14 – 5:30 p.m. at Hyatt Regency Buffalo Hotel and Conference Center.

Former Buffalo Bill Fred Jackson the guest speaker for fourth annual Prep Talk Awards


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