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: Mary Jo Wright
School: Elko (Nev.)
Athletic achievement: Wright raced to the Class 3A individual state championship this past season with a time of 19:17, leading the Indians to the state title as a team. She also won the Northern Region Championships, the Elko Invitational and the Lowry Invitational, and finished second in the Div. I race at the Bob Firman Invitational.
Academic excellence: A home-schooled student, Wright has maintained a 4.0 GPA, accredited by Bridgeway Academy.
Exemplary character: An officer with the county 4-H Club and a recent participant in a medical mission trip to Mexico, she has volunteered locally with a program that serves developmentally disabled children via horseback rides.
“Many athletes have the ambition to be a top athlete and many have the skills,” said Elko head coach Cody Krenka. “Mary Jo is one of the few student-athletes that I have known to have both.”
THE FUTURE: Wright remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.