Make it back-to-back for Frankie Muldoon as the BLITZ Runner of the Year. The junior won the region championship in 7-AAA (a crowded and talented region). She then placed sixth individually at the 3A State Championship meet.
Muldoon kicked off the season with a win at the War Eagle Invitational, pacing the field with a 19:35. Her season was solid, with a fifth-place finish at the Coach Benson Double Dip, another win at the Eagle Invitational (19:58) and a seventh-place finish at the Wingfoot XC Classic. She was then third at the Runners Fit Mountain Invitational, posting a PR 18:48.
A 19:58 was then good enough for third overall at the Nike/Fleet Coach Wood Invitational, which paved the way to her region championship (19:11). Her 20:45 run at the 3A State Championship meet was good enough to grab the sixth spot.
Muldoon was then invited to run the USATF Georgia HS CC Meet of Champions, where she posted a 46th place overall finish (19:23). She’s now the back-to-back winner of the award, but also the back-to-back Region Champion in 7-AAA. Her sixth-place spot at state also matches her previous year’s result. Meanwhile, her PR went from a 19:18 last season to 18:48 in 2017, a significant improvement of 30 seconds shaved off her time.
Our panel of 18 voters, made up of media reporters/broadcasters, former BLITZ players, former coaches and a couple of fans, submitted their Heisman-style ballots for the four finalists for the award:
HISTORY OF CROSS COUNTRY RUNNER OF THE YEAR
Muldoon repeats as winner of the award, and is the second Dawson runner to win it two straight seasons (Madalyn Walters), and the first overall to repeat the award since Jenna Gearing (4 straight).
2017 – Frankie Muldoon – Dawson Co JR
2016 – Frankie Muldoon – Dawson Co SO
2015 – Jenna Gearing – White Co SR
2014 – Jenna Gearing – White Co JR
2013 – Jenna Gearing – White Co SO
2012 – Jenna Gearing – White Co FR
2011 – Madalyn Walters – Dawson Co SR
2010 – Madalyn Walters – Dawson Co JR
2009 – Katie Bohannon – Habersham Central JR
LOOKING AHEAD – THE NEXT FAVORITE(S)
Allison Smith was the only senior finalist of the quartet, so with Muldoon holding this award two-years running, it’ll be hard to prevent her from winning a third in a row. Right on her heels will be Jaelen Alexander (White Co) and Zoe Sanchez (Union). There are other girls from both Dawson and Banks specifically that can give Muldoon a “run” for her money.