Each season, Gatorade recognizes one student-athlete from each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. who embodies its Player of the Year program’s three pillars: athletic production, academic achievement and exemplary character.
Each week during its Gatorade State Player of the Year selection process, USA TODAY surfaces one candidate who meets those criteria and deserves recognition as a serious Gatorade State Player of the Year contender.
Name: Sarah Feeny
School: Ogden (Utah) Senior
Sport: Girls Cross Country
Athletic Production: After three seasons of frustrating finishes—runner-up at the Class 4A state championship meet as a freshman, sophomore and junior—Feeny finally broke through, in a big way.
The 5-foot-6 senior captured the individual title with a time of 17:25 this past season, breaking two-year-old course record owned by 2011-12 Gatorade Iowa Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year Kelsey Braithwaite. By 11 seconds. Feeny also set a course record at the Region V championships. And in the final race of her high school cross country career, she earned All-American honors, placing 14th at this past weekend’s Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in 17:52.
Academic Achievement: Feeny has maintained an A average.
Exemplary Character: Vice President of her school’s chapter of the National Honor Society and a talented pianist, she has volunteered locally at a homeless shelter and the Ogden Nature Center. She has also donated her time assisting youth track and field programs.