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: Jessica Lawson
School: Corning-Painted Post (Corning, N.Y.)
Position: Distance Runner
Athletic achievement: The distance runner raced to the New York Federation Championship this past season with a time of 17:46.8. The state’s Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year as a freshman, Lawson finished second at the Class A state championships, second at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional championships and took 11th nationally at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in 17:49.3. She set course records while winning the Manhattan Invitational and the Section IV championship.
Academic excellence: Lawson has maintained an A average.
Exemplary character: An active member of the 4H Club, she has volunteered locally on behalf of a Christmas food basket program for the needy.
“Jessica is a very unique talent with a lot of natural ability,” said Corning indoor track coach Andrew Cartwright. “What is great about her is that she enjoys the daily task of training and trying to improve. It’s a year-long effort, and six days a week she is making herself better.”
THE FUTURE: Lawson will begin her senior year of high school this fall.