Eye on POY: Vermont 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?

Markie Palermo

Junior, Essex High (Essex Junction, VT)

2011 Team postseason standing: 2nd (Div. I)

2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—19:15.3

Jaime Thomas

Junior, Harwood Union High (Moretown, VT)

2011 Team postseason standing: 1st (Div. II)

2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—20:42.4

Elle Purrier

Junior, Richford High (Richford, VT)

2011 Team postseason standing: 7th (Div. III)

2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—19:11.9

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): 1st—18:30.6

2011 Nike Cross Nationals Finals (Place—time): 32nd—18:35

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.

Taylor Spillane: Junior, Champlain Valley Union High (Hinesburg, VT)

Adrienne Devita: Senior, Champlain Valley Union High (Hinesburg, VT)

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 or Twitter @ESPNHS_Awards.