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: Hannah DeBalsi
School: Staples (Westport, Conn.)
Position: Distance Runner
Athletic achievement: The distance runner won her third consecutive New England Championship this past season with a time of 18:20.9. The state’s two-time returning Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, DeBalsi also won the State Open championship with a time of 18:08 and the Class LL state title in 18:14. She finished 12th nationally at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships.
Academic excellence: DeBalsi has maintained a 4.16 GPA.
Exemplary character: She has served as a math and science tutor and has volunteered locally on behalf of the Pequot Library and area road races.
“Hannah possesses a rare maturity, and has even since she was a freshman,” said Staples High head coach Amanda Parrish. “Her healthy, balanced attitude about training and racing has been inspirational.”
THE FUTURE: DeBalsi has signed a National Letter of Intent to run on an athletic scholarship at Stanford University beginning this fall.