For a list of the other Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Taylor Werner
School: Sainte Genevieve (Mo.)
Athletic achievement: She raced to the Class 3 individual state championship this past season with a time of 18:19.88, leading the Dragons to the state title as a team. Also the Runner of the Year as named by Mo.MileSplit.com and the Missouri Track & Cross Country Coaches Association, Werner placed second at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional championships in 17:06 and finished 13th at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in 17:52.4. She also captured third place at the Nike Cross Nationals Midwest Regional championships in 18:08.6 and placed 40th at the NXN Final in 20:34.
Academic excellence: Also a track standout, Werner has maintained a 4.00 GPA in the classroom and has served on her school’s student council.
Exemplary character: A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and President of her school’s National Junior Honor Society chapter, she has volunteered on behalf of a canned food drive, the American Red Cross and her church community. Werner has also donated her time to the Adopt-A-Highway program and assisting at an annual Christmas dinner for senior citizens.
“Taylor is an extraordinary competitor with an appetite for success,” said Sainte Genevieve head coach Brian Jett. “Her dedication and work ethic are unsurpassed.”
THE FUTURE: Werner will begin her sophomore year of high school this fall.