For a complete list of Gatorade State Cross Country ROYs, click here.
THE WINNER: Kate Mattox
School: Starkville (Miss.)
Position: Distance runner
Athletic achievement: She won the Class 6A individual state championship with a time of 14:39.20 this past season, leading the Yellow Jackets to third place as a team. A two-time PopStar Award recipient for girls’ cross country, Mattox captured 45th place at the Foot Locker South Regional championships in 18:12. She concluded her freshman season unbeaten against in-state competition. Mattox also won the Class 5A individual state championship in 2011 and 2012.
Academic excellence: Mattox has maintained a 4.00 GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of her school’s student government and Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter, she has volunteered on behalf of her church’s youth group and at Camp Jigsaw, a summer retreat for children on the autism spectrum.
“Nothing gets her more excited than to have someone ahead of her or running up beside her,” said Starkville head coach Caroline Woomer. “She will not give up and let another athlete beat her. She will work harder, longer and make them fight to overtake her if they can. She loves to be challenged during a race. She gives all that she has, and she still finishes her race strong.”
THE FUTURE: Mattox will be a sophomore this fall.