For a list of the other Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Maria Hauger
School: Shakopee (Minn.)
Athletic achievement: She captured her second consecutive victory at the Nike Cross Nationals Heartland Regional championships this past season with a time of 17:33.5. She qualified for the NXN Final, where she finished 14th in 20:01. A four-time First Team All-State selection, Hauger placed third at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional championships with a time of 17:07, earning a spot in the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships, where she finished third in 17:30. Now four-time State Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Hauger also won her fourth straight Class AA individual state championship in 2012, breaking the tape in 13:42.
Academic excellence: Hauger has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A devoted member of her church community and the president of her school’s National Honor Society chapter, she has volunteered locally on behalf of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and the Toys for Tots Foundation.
“Maria Hauger is a humble, hard-working athlete and a true role model,” said Shakopee head coach Mark Neu. “She is 100-percent dedicated to making herself better at everything she does.”
The Future: Hauger remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.