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: Jillian Fanning
School: Fayetteville-Manlius (Manlius, N.Y.)
Athletic achievement: Fanning finished fourth at the Nike Cross Nationals Final with a time of 17:50, leading the Hornets to their sixth consecutive national title. She won the Class A state meet in 18:53.8 and took first at the NXN New York Regional championships, clocking a 17:47.4. Fanning also won the Eastern States race at the Manhattan Invitational.
Academic excellence: Fanning has maintained a 3.71 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally on behalf of an animal shelter, her church’s soup kitchen and a youth running program.
“In past years, we’ve been interchangeable at all levels of the team, but this year Jillian emerged as a true No. 1 runner,” said Fayetteville-Manlius head coach Bill Aris. “She stepped to the front and dominated all season long.”
THE FUTURE: Fanning will begin her senior year of high school this fall.