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: Sammy George
School: Millbrook (Raleigh, N.C.)
Athletic achievement: George raced to the Class 4A individual state championship this past season with a course-record time of 17:27. An ESPNHS DyeStat Cross Country Top 25 series Honorable Mention selection, she placed sixth at the Foot Locker South Regional championships in 17:15 in addition to finishing 29th at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in 18:18.9. George captured second place at the 2010 Class 4A state meet as a junior, third in 2009 as a sophomore and fourth in 2008 as a freshman, clocking top-15 times at the Foot Locker South Regional championships twice.
Academic excellence: George has maintained a B average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A member of her school’s leadership group, she has volunteered on behalf of multiple charitable road races, her church’s youth group and the Wake Interfaith Hospitality Network. George has also donated her time as a youth athletic instructor.
“Sammy George started the 2011 season fast with a sub-18 performance against collegians at the adidas Challenge in Cary and just took it from there,” said Steve Underwood, ESPNHS DyeStat Senior Editor. “Her 17:31 5K at state gave her a superlative victory in Class 4A and a state meet course record, and she followed it up by making Foot Locker finals for the first time.”
THE FUTURE: George has verbally committed to an athletic scholarship at North Carolina State University beginning this fall.