High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Fort Mill

South Carolina GXC ROY: Meredith Kilburn

January, 12, 2012
1/12/12
5:40
AM ET
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: Meredith Kilburn

THE BASICS

School: Fort Mill (S.C.)
Grade: Senior

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Kilburn raced to the Class AAA individual state championship this past season with a time of 18:10, leading the Yellow Jackets to fourth place as a team. Also named Runner of the Year by SCRunners.com and High School Sports Report, she placed 42nd at the Foot Locker South Regional championships in 18:16. Kilburn also captured first place at the Trojan Invitational, Furman Invitational, York County Championships, Region 4-AAA meet and Class AAA Upper State meet this past fall. The Fort Mill standout finished sixth at the 2010 Class AAA state meet as a junior and seventh in 2008 and 2009 as a freshman and sophomore.

Academic excellence: Kilburn has maintained a 5.07 weighted GPA in the classroom and ranks No. 2 in her graduating class.

Exemplary character: A member of her school’s Beta Club chapter and chemistry club, she has volunteered locally on behalf of her church, the Humane Society, a charitable running event and the Girls on the Run non-profit organization to promote healthy lifestyle choices among youth student-athletes.

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Eye on POY: South Carolina girls cross country

January, 4, 2012
1/04/12
6:16
PM ET
The cross country season may have concluded, but the search for Gatorade State Girls Cross Country Runners of the Year is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated. These state meet competitors made a case in their respective classifications, but did they do enough on and off the course this past season to capture the prestigious statewide honor?

Emma Jennings
Freshman, James F. Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.)

2011 Team postseason standing: 11th (Class AAAA)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—18:27

Meredith Kilburn
Senior, Fort Mill (S.C.)

2011 Team postseason standing: 4th (Class AAA)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): 1st—18:10

2011 Foot Locker regional (Place—time): 42nd—18:16

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