Eye on POY: Montana girls cross country

The cross country season may have concluded, but the search for Gatorade State Girls Cross Country Runners of the Year is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated. These state meet winners made a case in their respective classifications, but did they do enough on and off the course this past season to capture the prestigious statewide honor?

Caroline Hardin

Sophomore, Bozeman (Mont.)

2010-11 Gatorade Montana Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year

2011 Team postseason standing: 1st (Class AA)

2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—17:52.56

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): 24th—19:20.9

Sadie Henderson

Sophomore, Corvallis (Mont.)

2011 Team postseason standing: 1st (Class A)

2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—18:30.26

Makena Morley

Freshman, Bigfork (Mont.)

2011 Team postseason standing: DNQ (Class B)

2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—17:44.32

2011 Foot Locker regional (Place—time): 3rd—18:07

2011 Foot Locker nationals (Place—time): 9th—17:39.1

Kelly McCafferty

Junior, Belt (Mont.)

2011 Team postseason standing: 1st (Class C)

2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—19:17.30

Winning the state meet isn't a prerequisite for Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year, so here are some more of many other harriers whose performances this past season vaulted them into the conversation during this 2011 campaign.

Dani Aragon: Senior, Billings Senior (Billings, Mont.)

Michelle Cline: Senior, Bozeman (Mont.)

Andie Creel: Sophomore, Bozeman (Mont.)

Leah Esposito: Junior, Helena (Mont.)

Paige Gilchrist: Junior, Hellgate (Missoula, Mont.)

Keisha Stensby: Junior, Billings West (Billings, Mont.)

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Runner of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.