From many, there will be one. And while there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own state at this point in the season, a number of elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop on the latest top candidate.
Senior distance runner, West Springfield (Va.)
Greatness Present: It’s been quite a month for Alcorta. The 5-foot-2 senior committed to North Carolina on Twitter in mid-November, and then ran sub-17 minutes on a 5K course for the first time in her career to win the Foot Locker South Regional championships on Nov. 30.
After posting a time of 16:55 to defeat West Virginia’s Amelia Paladino by nine seconds, Alcorta will enter this Saturday’s national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships as one of the favorites.
Only two other harriers have covered the South Regional’s McAlpine Greenway Park in Charlotte, N.C., in less than 17 minutes: two-time
Foot Locker national champ Erin Keough of Florida and Virginia’s Aurora Scott, who finished second at the FLCCC in 2006.
Alcorta also won the Class 6A state meet with a time of 17:13 last month, defeating the next-fasted finisher by 39 seconds.
Greatness Past: Alcorta finished 16th at Foot Locker nationals as a junior after an eighth-place finish at the South Regional. She placed second behind two-time Gatorade Virginia Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year Sophie Chase at the Class AAA state met last season.
During the indoor and outdoor track seasons as a junior, Alcorta also took fourth in the 2-mile at the 2013 New Balance Indoor Nationals and fifth at the same distance during the 2013 New Balance Outdoor Nationals.
Greatness Future: Alcorta plans to sign with UNC in February.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year races aren’t over, and the National ROY race is now heating up. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list.Check back for daily updates on the top contenders making their case.