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: Ella Byers
School: Chamberlain (S.D.)
Position: Distance Runner
Athletic achievement: The distance runner raced to the Class A individual state championship this past season with a time of 18:41.2. A 2015 First Team All-State selection, Byers completed an undefeated season this fall and clocked the fastest all-class time at the state meet.
Academic excellence: Byers has maintained a 3.85 GPA.
Exemplary character: An accomplished pianist and a voracious reader, she has volunteered locally as a bible camp leader and served as a photographer on the high school yearbook staff.
“Ella Byers has a year-round drive for excellence,” said Chamberlain High head coach Garry Winter. “Winning races and having the kind of success she has enjoyed is a nice confirmation of her efforts.”
THE FUTURE: Byers will begin her sophomore year of high school this fall.