A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
THE WINNER: Courtney Hawkins
School: Milford (N.H.)
Athletic achievement: Hawkins raced to the Meet of Champions individual state championship this past season with a time of 18:34.1. The Runner of the Year as named by the Nashua Telegraph, she placed 13th at the New England Cross Country Championships in 18:52 in addition to finishing 30th at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional championships in 19:35.8. Hawkins captured first place at the Manchester Invitational large school race. She finished 21st at the 2010 Meet of Champions as a sophomore.
Academic excellence: Hawkins has maintained a 3.71 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society and National Art Honor Society, she has volunteered locally at a summer day camp, as part of a holiday gift-giving campaign and on behalf of the St. Joseph Hospital Breast Care Center. Hawkins has also donated her time in association with conservation land cleanup efforts, with Project Linus to benefit needy children and as a youth athletic instructor. She has served as a fundraiser for the Gate City Striders track program, New England Pediatric Care and the American Cancer Society.
“Courtney is a true gem,” said Milford head coach Mike Wright. “Not only is she a great athlete, but she is extremely coachable, dedicated, and loved by her opponents.”
THE FUTURE: Hawkins will begin her senior year of high school this fall.