Return of the ROY: Alaska's Jenette Northey

The 2011-12 Gatorade State Cross Country Runners of the Year selection process is underway, and what better way to kick off coverage than with profiles of returning underclassmen winners? Repeating is no guarantee, but here's a snapshot of what this year’s challengers can shoot for …

Name: Jenette Northey

Position: Distance runner

Grade: Junior

School: Service (Anchorage, Alaska)

College: Undecided

Height: 5-foot-5

Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade Alaska Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year ... 2010 Class 6A state meet individual runner-up ... 2010 Nike Cross Nationals Northwest Regional 34th-place finisher ... won 2010 Skyview, Bartlett and Lynx invitationals ... 2010 Concordia/Puma Classic third-place finisher


Academics: 3.64 GPA

Extracurricular activities: talented dancer ... Bible school teacher ... service-mission trip to a rural community in South Africa

Service High head coach Danielle Dalton: "Jenette is a very focused and coachable athlete. She's a relatively young runner, but she's able to self-critique and reflect on how she can improve her racing tactics and strategies."

Each Gatorade State Runner of the Year is challenged by thousands of fellow high school athletes. These are a few of the returning girls cross country underclassmen that also contended in 2010-11 …

Kailey Wilson SR Kenny Lake; Jenna Ford JR Wasilla; Amelia Hennessy JR Dimond; Bree Mucha SR Soldotna; Megan Edic SR Lathrop; Elle Arnold SO Grace Christian

A dedicated POY team at ESPNHS manages the Gatorade Player of the Year program selection process and oversees all research, reporting, comparative analysis and criteria-compliance on the award program’s behalf. Candidates are judged upon athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders must also demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Any class year is eligible, senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of recruit rankings.

To nominate a student-athlete for Player of the Year honors, contact the POY team at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.