For a list of the other Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Maggie Montoya
School: Rogers (Ark.)
Athletic achievement: She raced to the Class 7A individual state title this past season with a time of 18:17.7, leading the Mounties to a third-place finish as a team. The 2010-11 Gatorade Arkansas Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year and 2011-12 Gatorade Arkansas Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Montoya was the fastest Arkansas competitor at the Nike Cross Nationals South Regional championships, crossing the line in 17:40 to take 13th place.
Academic excellence: Montoya has maintained a 3.89 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A devoted member of her church community, she has volunteered locally as a bible camp leader and on behalf of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“There is no other runner in the state who even comes close to Maggie Montoya,” said Michelle Fyfe, head coach at Fayetteville (Ark.). “In my 20 years of coaching, I have seen many great runners, but few are as good off the course as they are on it. Montoya is both.”
THE FUTURE: Montoya has verbally committed to an athletic scholarship at Baylor University beginning this fall.