Eye on POY: North Carolina 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?

Sammy George

Senior, Millbrook (Raleigh, N.C.)

2011 Team postseason standing: 10th (Class 4A)

2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—17:27

2011 Foot Locker regional (Place—time): 6th—17:15

2011 Foot Locker nationals (Place—time): 29th—18:18.9

Blake Dodge

Sophomore, West Carteret (Morehead City, N.C.)

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

2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—18:50

Grace Morken

Junior, Carrboro (N.C.)

2011 Team postseason standing: 1st (Class 2A)

2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—19:13

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): 40th—19:12.30

Kirsten Parries

Sophomore, Mount Airy (N.C.)

2011 Team postseason standing: DNQ (Class 1A)

2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—19:29

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.

Sydney Foreman: Sophomore, Ardrey Kell (Charlotte, N.C.)

Rebekah Greengrass: Freshman, Panther Creek (Cary, N.C.)

Anna McBride: Junior, Davie County (Mocksville, N.C.)

Maura McDonnell: Junior, Green Hope (Cary, N.C.)

Darby Middlebrook: Junior, Watauga (Boone, N.C.)

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.