It was quite a sophomore campaign for Herriman runner Lucy Biles, and now, the 5-foot-5 Mustang cross-country star is adding another accolade to her banner year.
The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports announced Thursday that Biles was named the 2012-13 Gatorade Utah girls' cross-country Runner of the Year.
Biles won the Class 4A individual state championship this year, finishing with a top time of 17:49.6. She also finished fourth overall at the Nike Cross Nationals Southwest Regional championships with a time of 17:23 and won the Park City Invitational, the Herriman Invitational as well as the Region 7 championship.
According to a release from Gatorade, "the award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the racecourse, distinguishes Biles as Utah's best high school girls cross country runner."
With being named Utah's top runner, Biles is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National girls cross-country Runner of the Year award to be announced in January. With that honor, she joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Ryan Hall (1999-00, 2000-01, Big Bear HS, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.) and Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.).
Biles joins the group of past Gatorade cross-country Runner of the Year from the Beehive State, including Kelsey Braithwaite (2011-12, Box Elder High School), Shea Martinez (2010-11, Davis High School), Gillian Gorelik (2009-10, Park City), Danielle Menlove (2008-09, Jordan) and Hailey Knettles (2007-08, Judge Memorial Catholic).
"Lucy has only been running for just over one year," said Herriman head coach James Barnes in the release. "She's a great kid, and very coachable. She has great leadership skills for a young girl."
The release states that Biles maintains a 3.91 grade-point average and also volunteers locally on behalf of the Special Olympics as well as putting in additional volunteer time at an area food bank.