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: Sarah Fakler
School: Xavier College Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Athletic achievement: Fakler raced to the Division I individual state championship this past season with a time of 17:48.19, leading the Gators to the state title as a team. The state’s returning Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Fakler also earned individual titles at the Sole Sports Running Zone Cross Country Festival and the Desert Twilight Cross Country Festival. She finished ninth at the Nike Cross Nationals Southwest Regional Championships and was second in the Team Sweepstakes race at the Mt. Sac Invitational.
Academic excellence: Fakler has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A devoted member of her church community, she has volunteered locally on behalf of the Xavier Xero Club, which promotes environmentally sustainable activities.
“Sarah is a respected, valued teammate and a profoundly motivated competitor,” said Xavier College Prep co-coach Jeffrey Messer. “She’s a truly special student-athlete and, most importantly, individual.”
THE FUTURE: Fakler will begin her senior year of high school this fall.