Chiles High’s Rachel Givens quickly made up for lost time after being sidelined by illness for nearly the opening month of the cross country season.
The senior capped her comeback with an individual title in the Class 3A state meet at Apalachee Regional Park last month.
Givens ran the 5K (3.1-mile race) in a personal-best 17:48, overtaking two competitors on the course’s final lap, and registered the best time across any classification in the girls’ division.
She also helped the Timberwolves place third in the team standings.
On Monday, Givens was selected 2012 Florida Dairy Farmers Miss Cross Country. Givens is now a candidate for the Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year Award.
“I am proud the way it (season) finished,” Givens said.
“Everything was so up in the air at the beginning of the season. I didn’t know if I was going to run the same times as last year, let alone a PR (personal best). I am glad every thing worked out, and I am so thankful.”
On Monday, Givens also narrowed her college choices to Florida and Auburn, eliminating Alabama from consideration.
Givens, an individual winner on the district, region and state levels, is the first local cross country runner recognized by Florida Dairy Farmers since Joe Franklin of Godby High.
Franklin, who ran track and cross country at the University of Tennessee, was named the state’s Mr. Cross Country in 2007.
Chiles High coach Scott Gowan was named Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2009.