For a list of the other Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Sydney Badger
School: Centennial (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Athletic achievement: She finished 15th at the Nike Cross Nationals Southwest Regional championships this past season with a time of 17:48. Badger was also the state’s top finisher at the Foot Locker West Regional championships, crossing the line in in 19:16 to take 25th. She was fourth at the Division I state championships in 20:25.1, and earned victories at the Larry Burgess Invitational, the Central Park Invitational and the Sunset Regional Championships.
Academic excellence: Badger has maintained a 3.97 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A member of her school’s student council, she has volunteered as an academic tutor.
“Sydney never ran before her freshman year, but she loves it now,” said Centennial head coach Roy Sessions. “She wants to be an elite runner, a national-caliber athlete, and she’ll do whatever it takes to be successful.”
THE FUTURE: Badger will begin her senior year of high school this fall.