For a list of the other Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Sophie Chase
School: Lake Braddock (Burke, Va.)
Athletic achievement: The state’s returning Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Chase raced to a second consecutive Group AAA individual state championship this past season with a course-record time of 17:24, leading the Bruins to the state title as a team. Also the two-time Runner of the Year as named by The Washington Post, Chase captured first place at the Foot Locker South Regional championships in 17:05 and placed sixth at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in 17:41.5. She placed second and 11th, respectively, at those races as a junior.
Academic excellence: Also an accomplished swimmer, Chase has maintained a 4.25 weighted GPA.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating her time as a youth running coach and as a swim instructor as a certified lifeguard, she has volunteered on behalf of neighborhood cleanup efforts, the Special Olympics and the Girls on the Run non-profit organization to promote healthy lifestyle choices among youth student-athletes.
“Sophie really saved her best for last,” said Steve Underwood, DyeStat editor for Runnerspace.com. “She’s one of those that proves a girl can be a star as a freshman and still be her best as a senior. She proved she was not only the best in Virginia, but the entire region with her state and Foot Locker South triumphs. Then, even on a slightly off day, she was in the running for the Foot Locker national title until the end.”
THE FUTURE: Chase has committed to run at Stanford.