For a complete list of Gatorade State Cross Country ROYs, click here.
THE WINNER: Hannah DeBalsi
School: Staples (Westport, Conn.)
Position: Distance runner
Athletic achievement: She raced to second place nationally at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships this past season with a time of 17:26. DeBalsi won the State Open championship by breaking the tape in 17:44 and captured the Class LL state title with a course-record 17:41. She also won the New England Cross Country Championships in a course-record time of 17:15.8 and was third at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional championships.
Academic excellence: DeBalsi has maintained a 4.14 GPA.
Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally on behalf of the Fairfield Public Library and various road races.
“Hannah’s determination, energy and passion are contagious,” said Staples head coach Amanda Parrish. “Although she’s only a sophomore, I frequently find myself counting on her as a leader, not just in the results, but at practice on a daily basis.”
THE FUTURE: DeBalsi will be a junior this fall.