Utah Girls XC ROY: Kelsey Braithwaite

Kelsey Braithwaite captured eighth place at Foot Locker Nationals this past fall. Cindy McConkie/ESPNHS

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: Kelsey Braithwaite


School: Box Elder (Brigham City, Utah)

Grade: Senior

Height: 5-foot-2


Athletic achievement: Braithwaite raced to the Class 4A individual state championship this past season with a time of 17:36.4. She took second at the Foot Locker West Regional championship in 17:55 and clocked a 17:38.4 to finish eighth nationally at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships. Braithwaite also won the BYU Autumn Classic and earned second at the Bob Firman Invitational.

Academic excellence: Braithwaite has maintained a 3.81 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A devoted member of her church community, she has volunteered locally on behalf of an area nursing home, youth track programs and a city beautification project.


“Kelsey hasn’t missed a day of running since eighth grade. She has earned everything that she’s gotten,” said Box Elder head coach Wayne McConkie. “She has worked incredibly hard and set a great example for her teammates.”

THE FUTURE: Braithwaite remains undecided upon a college destination.