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GHS’s Katherine Leggat-Barr is named Gatorade’s 2014 Maine Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year

posted Feb 2, 2015, 5:39 AM by Dawna Green   [ updated Feb 2, 2015, 6:14 AM ]
(Oh...and PS: She was also awarded the Portland Press Herald Fall Athlete award and the Forecaster Fall Athlete award!)

In its 30th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports has announced Katherine Leggat-Barr as its 2014-15 Gatorade Maine Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. 

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 Katherine as Maine’s best high school girls cross country runner. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year award to be announced in January, Katherine 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.).

The 5-foot-7 sophomore won the Class B individual state championship with a time of 19:17.12 this past season, leading the Rangers to the state title as a team. Also the Runner of the Year as named by the Maine Sunday Telegram, Katherine captured 32nd place at the New England Cross Country Championships in 19:25. In addition to finishing unbeaten against Maine prep cross country competitors in 2014, she clocked an 18:51 at the Western Maine Conference meet, which ranked as the state’s fastest 5K time of the season. When interviewed by the Portland Press Herald, Katherine’s coach David Dowling said, “She’s very determined. The hardest thing is to make her take an easy day. She doesn’t know what it means to run easily.”

Katherine has also maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. In addition to serving as a member of her school’s debate team and qualifying for the statewide science fair project competition, she has manufactured cider for the Rosemont Market and Bakery during the past three autumn harvests.

“She is an aggressive, talented racer,” said Danny Paul, head coach of rival Falmouth High. “In all her races I have seen, she pushes herself and anyone who can run with her. My observations of her interactions with teammates and coaches have been refreshing; she cares about her team. Our girls have shared nothing but positive comments regarding her as an opponent and fellow athlete.” Coach Dowling agrees, “She was really excited about the team doing as well as we did. She was always about the team.”

Katherine is the second Greely High School student to receive this award and joins Gatorade Maine Girls Cross Country Runners of the Year Kirstin Sandreuter (2013-14, Greely High School), Bethanie Brown (2012-13, Waterville High School), Abbey Leonardi (2011-12, 2010-11, 2009-10 & 2008-09, Kennebunk High School), and Anna Makaretz (2007-08, Yarmouth) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit www.gatorade.com/poy.

(The Portland Press Herald and Gatorade Player of the Year program were both quoted for this article. You can read their exact write-up at http://www.pressherald.com/2014/12/07/girls-cross-country-all-state-team-never-an-easy-day-pays-off-with-fast-times-accolades-for-leggat-barr/ and http://www.gatorade.com/poy/assets/writable/15580/2014-15_GC_KLeggat-Barr.pdf)        More Spotlights...