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THE WINNER: Jessica Lawson
School: Corning East (Corning, N.Y.)
Position: Distance runner
Athletic achievement: She raced to the New York Federation Championship this past season with a time of 18:16.2. Lawson also won the Class B state championship, breaking the tape in 17:42.7, and captured the Section 4 and Southern Tier Athletic Conference titles. She finished seventh at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional championships and 27th nationally at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships.
Academic excellence: Lawson has maintained an A average.
Exemplary character: An active member of the 4H Club and a talented musician, she has volunteered locally on behalf of a Christmas food basket program for the needy.
“Historically, our section hasn’t had a lot of success at the state level, but she rose to the occasion this year,” said Ben Cardamone, coach at rival Elmira (N.Y.). “You couldn’t have scripted a better race than the one she ran at Federations. She’s a girl who works hard at everything and does the things great runners need to do to be successful.”
THE FUTURE: Lawson will be a sophomore this fall.