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 Keating
School: La Salle Academy (Providence, R.I.)
Athletic achievement: Keating raced to a third consecutive All-State Meet individual championship this past season with a time of 18:25, leading the Rams to second place as a team. A three-time First Team All-State selection as named by the Providence Journal, she placed second at the New England Cross Country Championships in 18:11 in addition to finishing 10th at the Nike Cross Nationals Northeast Regional in 19:09.9. Keating also captured first place at the 2009 and 2010 Class A meet as a sophomore and junior.
Academic excellence: Keating has maintained an A average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally on behalf of her church, her school’s peer-mentoring program and multiple charity-fundraiser road races.
“One of the things I can easily say about her is that throughout her entire career, she’s had a tremendous, tremendous work ethic,” said Jim Doyle, head boys cross country coach at Bishop Hendricken (Warwick, R.I.). “At one point, she had a terrible setback when she suffered a stress fracture, but she overcame that, rebounded again this year and was outstanding all year long. That’s the way she’s been for four years. I’ve always been impressed with her.”
THE FUTURE: Keating remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.