Eye on POY: New Mexico girls cross country

The cross country season may have concluded, but the search for Gatorade State Girls Cross Country Runners of the Year is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated. These state meet winners made a case in their respective classifications, but did they do enough on and off the course this past season to capture the prestigious statewide honor?

Caroline Kaufman

Senior, East Mountain High (Sandia Park, NM)

2011 Team postseason standing: 3rd (Class A-AA)

2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—19:24.35

2011 Foot Locker regional (Place—time): 35th—19:21

Rachel Fleddermann

Sophomore, Sandia Prep (Albuquerque)

2011 Team postseason standing: Did not qualify (Class 3A)

2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—19:11.7

2011 Foot Locker regional (Place—time): 40th—19:24

Jenna Thurman

Junior, Del Norte High (Albuquerque)

2011 Team postseason standing: 4th (Class 4A)

2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—19:09.8

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): 72nd—19:25.96

Malia Gonzales

Junior, Sue Cleveland High (Rio Rancho, NM)

2011 Team postseason standing: 1st (Class 5A)

2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—19:44.1

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): 22nd—18:36.31

Winning the state meet isn't a prerequisite for Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year, so here are some more of many other harriers whose performances this past season vaulted them into the conversation during this 2011 campaign.

Elisa Woody: Junior, Pecos High (Pecos, NM)

Jordan Parker: Sophomore, Los Alamos High (Los Alamos, NM)

Jennifer Mooday: Junior, Los Alamos High (Los Alamos, NM)

Autumnrain Chee: Senior, Shiprock High (Shiprock, NM)

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Runner of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com or Twitter @ESPNHS_Awards.