The Gatorade State Girls Cross Country Runners of the Year were selected based on athletic production and impact in the 2015-16 season. Each winner also demonstrated high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership.
For the complete list of Gatorade State Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Amaris Tyynismaa
School: Montgomery Catholic Prep (Montgomery, Ala.)
Position: Distance Runner
Athletic achievement: The distance runner won a second consecutive Class 4A individual state championship with a time of 17:52.25 this past season, leading the Knights to fourth place as a team. The Montgomery Advertiser’s two-time All-Metro Female Cross Country Runner of the Year, Tyynismaa took 20th at the Foot Locker South Regional championships in 18:06. Unbeaten against Alabama competition in 2015, her third-place finish of 17:42.54 at the 17th Annual Jesse Owens Classic was the state’s fastest 5K among prep competitors this past fall.
Academic excellence: Tyynismaa has maintained an A average.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating her time as a mentor and instructor for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she has volunteered locally on behalf of her church.
“I think she is bringing the girls to a new level with how good she is,” said Stephen Bowen, head coach at rival Straughn High. “She is pushing my girls to work harder and get better. She is basically resetting the bar for girls’ cross country.”
THE FUTURE: Tyynismaa will begin her sophomore year of high school this fall.