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: Elise Reina
School: Har-Ber (Springdale, Ark.)
Position: Distance Runner
Athletic achievement: The distance runner raced to her third straight Class 7A individual state title this past season with a time of 18:44.9, leading the Wildcats to a fourth-place finish as a team. The state’s returning Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Reina earned eighth-place at the Chile Pepper XC Festival with a time of 18:36.9, tops among Arkansas runners.
Academic excellence: Reina has maintained a 3.65 GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society and her school’s math club, she has volunteered locally on behalf of the Samaritan Community Center and her church youth group.
“I could not be more impressed with Elisa Reina’s amazing abilities, highlighted by her competitive spirit, race execution and positive mental attitude,” said Mike Trexler, president of the Arkansas Association of USA Track & Field. “She always treats others with respect and demonstrates her perfectly balanced confidence with dignity and grace.”
THE FUTURE: Reina has verbally committed to play soccer on scholarship at the University of Kansas this fall.