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, Niwot (Colo.)
Greatness Present: Cranny won the 2012 Class 4A cross country individual state title by the slimmest of margins—a photo finish—and without that fraction-of-a-second advantage, she may not have won Colorado’s Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year award.
This year, however, the 5-foot-4 senior dominated the state meet, defeating Air Academy sophomore Katie Rainsberger once again—this time by 40 seconds—with a course-record time of 18:07.8.
The nation’s third-ranked harrier by DyeStat.com, Cranny also swept the Region 3 and Northern Conference titles this year in addition to winning September’s Centaurus Invitational in Lafayette, Colo.
Greatness Past: Cranny won the Nike Cross Nationals Southwest Regional as a junior, and she will defend that title next week before trying to improve upon her seventh-place finish at the 2012 NXN Final.
This past spring, she won state track and field titles in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, breaking Melody Fairchild’s 22-year-old state record in the 1,600 with a time of 4:47.46.
Greatness Future: A straight-A student in the classroom, Cranny remains undecided upon a collegiate destination. Among the schools she’s considering are Stanford, Colorado, Georgetown and Oregon.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade State Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year races aren’t over, and the National ROY race is just 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.