For a list of the other Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Sarah Fakler
School: Xavier College Prep(Phoenix, Ariz.)
Athletic achievement: She raced to the Division I individual state championship this past season with a time of 18:02, leading the Gators to the state title as a team. Arizona’s two-time returning Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Fakler also earned individual titles at the Sole Sports Running Zone Cross Country Festival and the Desert Twilight Cross Country Festival in 2012. She finished ninth at the Nike Cross Nationals Southwest Regional championships and 20th at the Foot Locker West Regional championships.
Academic excellence: Fakler has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A devoted member of her church community, she has volunteered on behalf of local environmental sustainability initiatives and as part of a project to design, build and supply solar ovens to a disadvantaged community in Ghana.
“Sarah’s work ethic is off the charts, in everything she does,” said Xavier College Prep coach Dave Van Sickle. “In four years, I can’t remember her missing a practice. She doesn’t get sick, she doesn’t get hurt, and she does everything in a really disciplined manner.”
THE FUTURE: Fakler has verbally committed to an athletic scholarship at the University of Virginia beginning this fall.