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: Molly Seidel
School: University Lake School (Hartland, Wis.)
Athletic achievement: Seidel won the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships this past season, breaking the tape in 17:08. The 2011 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Area Runner of the Year, she also claimed first place at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional championships with a winning time of 17:22. The four-time Wisconsin Cross Country Coaches Association First Team All-State selection completed an undefeated season this past fall and earned her fourth consecutive Division 3 individual state championship, joining three-time Olympian Suzy Favor-Hamilton as the only Wisconsin runners to ever win state cross country titles all four prep seasons. Seidel covered the 4K state championship course in 13:39.59, more than 40 seconds ahead of her next-closest competitor.
Academic excellence: Seidel has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom and is a National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalist.
Exemplary character: An active parishioner in her St. Joan of Arc church community, she serves as vice president of her school’s student government. Also an accomplished pianist and ukulele player Seidel has further donated her time on behalf of The Gathering interfaith meal ministry, the Lifestriders Equine Physical Therapy Center and as a sailing instructor in association with the Pine Lake Yacht Club.
“There is not a more deserving girl to be the Gatorade Wisconsin Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year than Molly Seidel,” said Michael Mulrooney, assistant coach of rival Arrowhead (Hartland, Wis.). “She went totally unchallenged throughout the season. She ran times that have never been approached by runners from Wisconsin and there have been many accomplished runners from here.”
THE FUTURE: Seidel has verbally committed to an athletic scholarship at the University of Notre Dame beginning this fall.