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: Taylor Cuneo
School: Central Magnet School (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
Position: Distance Runner
Athletic achievement: The distance runner raced to her second straight Division I A-AA individual state championship this past season with a time of 18:21.2, leading the Lady Tigers to a third-place finish as a team. The state’s returning Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Cuneo took fourth at the Nike Cross Nationals Southeast championships, crossing the line in 17:31. She went on to compete at the Nike Cross Nationals Final where she finished 19th in 17:31.7.
Academic excellence: Cuneo has maintained a 4.0 GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of the Key Club and her school’s chapter of the Society of Women in Engineering, she has volunteered locally on behalf of her church youth group.
“Taylor Cuneo is certainly an amazing student-athlete,” said Stephen Williams, head coach at Riverdale High. “As far as sheer talent and further potential, I sincerely believe that she is the best girls cross country runner in the state. I have watched Cuneo race since she began in middle school, and every time she has a hiccup, she comes back twice as strong at the next race. She is a quality all-around kid who may just continue to get stronger in her remaining high school years.”
THE FUTURE: Cuneo will begin her junior year of high school this fall.