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: Jenna Thurman
School: Del Norte (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Athletic achievement: Thurman raced to the Class 4A individual state championship this past season with a time of 19:09.8, leading the Knights to fourth place as a team. She also won the city and district championships, and finished first at the Rio Rancho Jamboree.
Academic excellence: Thurman has maintained a 4.18 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: Also a soccer standout, she has volunteered locally with multiple community service initiatives as a member of the National Honor Society.
“Jenna loves to run and she really works hard,” said Del Norte head coach Fred Polich. “She loves the hilly, difficult courses -- the harder the course, the better.”
THE FUTURE: Thurman will begin her senior year of high school this fall.