For a list of the other Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Carmen Carlos
School: McGill-Toolen Catholic (Mobile, Ala.)
Athletic achievement: The state’s three-time returning Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Carlos raced to a fourth consecutive Class 6A individual state championship this past season with a time of 17:20.34, leading the Yellow Jackets to third place as a team. Also the four-time Mobile Press-Register Runner of the Year, she captured fifth place at the Foot Locker South Regional championships in 17:12 and finished 12th at the Foot Locker Nationals in 17:52.4. She was unbeaten against Alabama competition in 2012.
Academic excellence: Also a track standout and an accomplished artist, Carlos has maintained a 4.27 weighted GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society and a student ambassador at her school, she has volunteered locally on behalf of the Easter Seals, Servants of the Poor, Little Sisters of the Poor and National Down Syndrome Society. Carlos has also donated her time in association with her church community and the McGill-Toolen Catholic campus ministry.
“Carmen is a runner, and to truly know what that means, you must also be a runner,” said McGill-Toolen Catholic head coach Drew Bentley. “She never picks and chooses when she tries. Her only possible effort is 100 percent in all endeavors. She excels in the classroom as well as in her community. She is a most excellent ambassador for our sport, and she represents all that is good about high school athletics.”
THE FUTURE: Carlos has verbally committed to an athletic scholarship at Vanderbilt University beginning this fall.