NY’s Aisling Cuffe Gatorade’s XC Runner of the Year

Gatorade® National Girls Cross Country Runner
of the Year:

Aisling Cuffe

Gold Medalist
and Former Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year

Allyson Felix
Surprises Standout with Elite Honor



Windsor, N.Y.
(Feb. 1, 2011) ‰ÛÓ In
its 26th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes,
The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today
announced Aisling Cuffe of Cornwall Central High
School (New Windsor, N.Y.) as its 2010-11
Gatorade National Girls Cross
Country Runner of the Year.  Cuffe was
surprised with the news during her sixth period class by professional runner and
Summer Games gold medalist Allyson Felix, who won the Gatorade National Girls
Track & Field Athlete of the Year award in 2002-03, then captured Gatorade
Female High School Athlete of the Year honors in 2003.


“When I received the award in 2003, it
was such a pivotal moment for me as an athlete.  I’m grateful to be a part of this moment for Aisling, who is truly
a phenomenal student-athlete on and off the racecourse,” said Felix, a seven-time
IAAF World Champion.  “Gatorade has
been on the sidelines fueling athletic performance for years, so to be
recognized by a brand that understands the game and truly helps athletes
perform is a huge honor for these kids.”


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 Cuffe as the nation’s best high school girls
cross country runner.  A national
advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists
helped select
Cuffe from nearly
202,000 girls cross country runners nationwide.
Cuffe is now a finalist for the prestigious
Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a
special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.


The 5-foot-4
senior enjoyed an unbeaten season and raced to the national title at the Foot
Locker Cross Country Championships this past fall with a time of 16:53,
breaking the tape 34 seconds ahead of her next-closest competitor. The state’s
returning Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Cuffe captured the
Class A state title in 17:19.6 and won the all-class New York Federation
Championship with a course-record time of 17:17. She added victories at the
Great American Cross Country Festival, the Manhattan Invitational and the Foot
Locker Northeast Regional championships (in 17:51).



 Cuffe has
maintained an A average in the classroom. A four-year member of the Cornwall
Central Math Team and its returning high-scorer, Cuffe has donated her time to
and fund-raised for multiple local and national community-service initiatives
in association with her school’s Key Club chapter. Also a member of the
National Honor Society, she has volunteered on behalf of area youth road races
and track invitational meets.


“Aisling Cuffe more than fulfilled expectations as the top
returner at Foot Locker nationals, tearing through her regular season
undefeated and then triumphing in San Diego with disarming ease,” said ESPN
RISE/Dyestat Senior Editor Dave Devine. “Her 34-second margin of victory at
Foot Locker over Nike Cross Nationals Final champion Rachel Johnson was the
race’s largest since 2001, and only emphasized Cuffe’s status as the top girl
in the nation this fall.”


Cuffe, who is just the third female student-athlete
from the state of New York to ever win Gatorade National Player of the Year
honors in any sport, has verbally committed to an athletic scholarship at
Stanford University beginning this fall.


“Without question, Aisling  is deserving of recognition as the
nation’s best high school girls cross country runners based on her statistics
on the racecourse and the impact her accomplishments have had on Cornwall
Central’s  success,” said Gatorade
Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing
Jennifer Storms.  “But she is also a shining example
to peers and aspiring young athletes of what a leader and a student-athlete
should be.  She represents
everything we hope for in a Gatorade Runner of the Year recipient.”


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 ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports
leadership team, 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.


Former notable Gatorade National Players of the
Year include:

Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning

WNBA all-time leading scorer and rebounder Lisa

Current American Mile Record-Holder Alan Webb

Kansas City Royals Cy Young award-winner Zach


For more information on the Gatorade Player of the
Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of former
winners, and future announcement dates, visit the Gatorade Player of the Year
Web site at http://playeroftheyear.gatorade.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY
or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.



Page 3/Gatorade National Girls Cross
Country Runner of the Year











Central/New Windsor, NY

Hills, MI

School Senior

of Washington







College Prep/San Luis Obispo, CA



of Oregon



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