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: Lydia Olivere
School: Padua Academy (Wilmington, Del.)
Position: Distance Runner
Athletic achievement: The state’s returning Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Olivere won a second consecutive Division I individual state championship with a meet-record time of 17:57.66 this past season, leading the Pandas to a third straight state title as a team. Twice presented the William L. Gerow Award by the New Castle County Coaches Cross Country & Track Association as the state’s Runner of the Year, the distance talent took eighth place at the Nike Cross Nationals Southeast Regional championships in 17:45.10.
Academic excellence: Olivere has maintained a 3.99.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating her time as a student ambassador and as a member of her school’s student council, she has volunteered on behalf of Padua’s service-oriented Blue & Gold Club and at The Mary Campbell Center for people with disabilities.
“She doesn’t fear a challenge, and you can see her confidence grow as she continues to learn different race strategies in a variety of scenarios she’s encountered this season,” said Padua head coach Marnie Giunta. “Lydia is going to be fascinating to watch over these next few years. She’s as composed as a competitor can be and a class act in how she handles herself on a daily basis at practices, in class and at the races.”
THE FUTURE: Olivere will begin her junior year of high school this fall.