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 Melvin
School: Philip Barbour High (Philippi, W.Va.)
Position: Distance Runner
Athletic achievement: The distance runner raced to the Class A-AA individual state championship this past season with a time of 19:29.3, leading the Colts to a third-place finish as a team. The 2015 Big 10 Conference Runner of the Year, Melvin won the Class A-AA Region II title, crossing the line in 19:54.
Academic excellence: Melvin has maintained a 4.0 GPA and represents one of the state’s top academic candidates in meeting the Gatorade award’s broad criteria.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society, she has participated locally in multiple 4-H Club events and competitions.
“Jessica Melvin loves to run for the pure enjoyment of the sport,” said Philip Barbour head coach Jim Seaton. “She trains hard and sets the standard for the rest of our team. She is truly dedicated to the sport of cross country.”
THE FUTURE: Melvin will begin her junior year of high school this fall.