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: Maggie Drazba
School: St. Mary's (W.Va.)
Athletic achievement: Drazba raced to the Class AA-A individual state championship this past season with a time of 18:25.4, leading the Blue Devils to second place as a team. A three-time First Team All-State selection, she took 13th place at the Foot Locker South Regional championships, crossing the line in 17:40.
Academic excellence: Drazba has maintained a 4.05 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A devoted member of her church community and the sports editor of her school newspaper, she has volunteered locally on behalf of the Boys and Girls Club of America and the National Honor Society.
“Maggie Drazba is one of the most elite female runners who has ever graced a running surface in West Virginia in my opinion,” said Jeff Lewis, head coach of rival Weir (Weirton, W.Va.). “Her commitment to excellence and her rigorous training regimen keeps her ahead of the competition. Runners like her only come along once in a coaching career.”
THE FUTURE: Drazba will begin her senior year of high school this fall.