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: Katie Knight
School: North Central (Spokane, Wash.)
Athletic achievement: Knight raced to the Class 3A individual state championship this past season with a course-record time of 17:10.6. She also captured third at the Nike Cross Nationals Final in 17:45. Knight earned victories at the Bob Firman Invitational and the Nike Border Clash, and finished second at the NXN Northwest Regional championships in 17:58.1.
Academic excellence: Knight has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally feeding needy families and has participated in a cleanup initiative at an area park.
“Katie is the most focused and dedicated runner I have ever helped coach,” said North Central head coach Dempsey Ortega. “It’s rare to find such a gifted athlete who is willing to put in the time and effort to be the best and not just rely on pure talent.”
THE FUTURE: Knight will begin her senior year of high school this fall.