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: Catarina Rocha
School: Peabody (Mass.)
Athletic achievement: Rocha captured third place at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional championships this past season with a time of 18:19.9. She also qualified for the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships where she finished in seventh place, crossing the line in 17:38. The 2011-12 Boston Globe All-Scholastic co-Runner of the Year, Rocha won the Division I individual state championship with a time of 18:12.
Academic excellence: Rocha has maintained an A average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: An officer in her school’s student council, she has volunteered locally as a peer tutor on behalf of Challenger Sports, an area physical activity program for children with special needs.
“Catarina Rocha is a leader on her team and in the classroom,” said Peabody athletic director Phil Sheridan. “I have had the opportunity to watch her in all facets of life and she is very serious about her training, her studies and her commitment to helping others.”
THE FUTURE: Rocha will begin her senior year of high school this fall.