For a complete list of Gatorade State Cross Country ROYs, click here.
THE WINNER: Sarah Baxter
School: Simi Valley (Calif.)
Position: Distance runner
Athletic achievement: She raced to her fourth consecutive state championship this past season, winning the Division 2 state crown with a time of 16:43 and leading the Pioneers to second place as a team. The 2012-13 Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year and the state’s three-time returning Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Baxter won the Mt. SAC Invitational, the Woodbridge Invitational, the Clovis Invitational, the Marmonte League Championships, the Ventura County Championships and the Southern Section Championships. She finished third at the Nike Cross Nationals Final in 16:57.8. Nationally, Baxter is one of only four prep runners in history to win Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year honors in all four years of high school.
Academic excellence: Baxter has maintained a 3.22 GPA.
Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally as a member of the Junior American Legion Auxiliary and the Simi Valley High recycling club. She has also donated her time on behalf of a senior citizen thrift store and as a youth running club coach.
“I don’t know of anyone who has had a better high school career than Sarah,” said Simi Valley head coach Roger Evans. “She ran at such a high level, year in and year out. A lot of times she was only running against her internal clock, but she never had a bad race. Never.”
THE FUTURE: Baxter has verbally committed to Oregon.