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: Angel Piccirillo
School: Homer-Center (Homer City, Pa.)
Athletic achievement: Piccirillo raced to her second straight Class AA individual state championship this past season with a time of 18:31. The state’s returning Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, she won the Foot Locker Northeast Regional championship in 18:01.4 and finished 13th nationally at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships. Piccirillo also earned victories at the Crimson Hawk Invitational, the Indiana County Invitational, the Heritage Conference Championships, the District 6 Championships, the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational, the Pittsburgh Central Catholic Invitational and the PTXC 3 Invitational.
Academic excellence: Piccirillo has maintained an A average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: Vice president of the senior class, she has volunteered locally on behalf of the Salvation Army, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and blood-donation drives.
“Angel doesn’t settle for second best in any area,” said Homer-Center head coach Michael Gentile. “She’s driven by something indescribable. Her dedication and commitment to excellence as an athlete is only surpassed by her dedication and commitment in the classroom.”
THE FUTURE: Piccirillo has verbally committed to an athletic scholarship at Villanova University beginning this fall.