For a list of the other Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Bella Burda
School: Arlington (Lagrangeville, N.Y.)
Athletic achievement: She raced to the New York Federation Championship this past season with a time of 17:56.9. Burda finished second at the Class A state championships, in 17:37.2, and was also second at the Nike Cross Nationals New York Regional championships, in 17:55.2.
Academic excellence: Burda has maintained an A average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: Also a talented musician, she has volunteered locally on behalf of community running programs.
“Bella is an extraordinary athlete, and her career is really just beginning,” said Arlington head coach Diana Lucas. “She has such a humble personality, but her competitive nature keeps her one step ahead of her competitors.”
THE FUTURE: Burda will begin her junior year of high school this fall.