High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Shakopee

Minnesota Girls XC ROY: Maria Hauger

January, 12, 2012
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: Maria Hauger


School: Shakopee (Minn.)
Grade: Junior
Height: 5-foot-4


Athletic achievement: Hauger won the Nike Cross Nationals Heartland Regional championships this past season with a time of 17:52.7, qualifying for the 2011 Nike Cross Nationals Final, where she finished 24th. A three-time First Team All-State selection, she also placed fifth at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional championships with a time of 17:40, earning a spot in the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships, where she finished 21st in 18:07. Hauger was the only female competitor in the nation to crack the top 25 at both FL Nationals and the NXN Final. The 2009-10 and 2010-11 Gatorade Minnesota Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year also won her third straight Class AA individual state championship, breaking the tape in 14:04.1 and leading the Sabers to fourth place as a team.

Academic excellence: Hauger has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: An active member of her church community and her school’s student council, she has volunteered locally on behalf of the American Cancer Society, Toys for Tots and the National Honor Society.

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Eye on POY: Minnesota Girls Cross Country

January, 6, 2012
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 winners 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?

Maria Hauger
Junior, Shakopee (MN)

2011 Team postseason standing: Fourth (Class AA)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): First—14:04.1

2011 Foot Locker regional (Place—time): 5th—17:40
2011 Foot Locker nationals (Place—time): 21st—18:07

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): First—17:52.7
2011 Nike Cross Nationals Finals (Place—time): 24th—18:28

Jamie Piepenburg
Senior, Jefferson High (Alexandria, MN)

2011 Team postseason standing: Seventh (Class AA)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): Second—14:04.8

2011 Foot Locker regional (Place—time): 13th—18:02

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional
(Place—time): 16th—18:47

Clare Flanagan

Sophomore, Blake (MN)

2011 Team postseason standing: Fourth (Class A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): First—14:21.7

Winning the state meet isn't a prerequisite for Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year, so here are some more of many other harriers whose performances this past season vaulted them into the conversation during this 2011 campaign.

Jenna Truedson: Freshman, Bemidji (MN)
Kaytlyn Larson: Freshman, Lakeville South (Lakeville, MN)
Emi Trost: Sophomore, Cannon Falls (MN)
Marisa Shady: Junior, Esko (MN)

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Runner of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com or Twitter @ESPNHS_Awards.

Return of the ROY: Minn.'s Maria Hauger

October, 26, 2011
The 2011-12 Gatorade State Cross Country Runners of the Year selection process is underway, and what better way to kick off coverage than with profiles of returning underclassmen winners? Repeating is no guarantee, but here's a snapshot of what this year’s challengers can shoot for …

Name: Maria Hauger

Position: Distance runner

Grade: Junior

School: Shakopee (Minn.)

College: Undecided

Height: 5-foot-4

Notes: 2009-10 and 2010-11 Gatorade Minnesota Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year ... 2009 and 2010 First Team All-State selection ... 2010 Nike Cross Nationals Final 64th-place finisher ... 2010 Nike Cross Nationals Heartland Regional fifth-place finisher ... 2010 Foot Locker Midwest Regional 29th-place finisher ... 2010 Class AA state meet individual champion

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