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: Jeralyn Poe
School: North Star (Lincoln, Neb.)
Athletic achievement: Poe raced to the Class A individual state championship this past season with a time of 14:38.5. A 2011 Nebraska Coaches Association Cross Country Super State selection, she won the Class A-1 District Cross Country meet in 15:25.80 and earned 58th place at the 2011 Nike Cross Nationals Heartland Regional championships, crossing the line in 19:31.2.
Academic excellence: Poe has maintained an A average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally as a library aide and has donated her time reading to elementary school students.
“Jeralyn Poe is a very hard worker,” said Kirk Skiles, head coach of rival Lincoln East (Lincoln, Neb.). “It was certainly no fluke that she won a state title. She really figured out how to race and put herself in a position to win.”
THE FUTURE: Poe will begin her sophomore year of high school this fall.