While Zoe Sanchez won her individual state title by over a minute and had ample room for error, it was not quite that easy to win Runner of the Year, as the voting came down to the wire.
The Union County junior was completely dominant in 2018, winning a region and state championship far ahead of the next closest competitor. For her efforts, Sanchez is the 2018 Cross Country Runner of the Year.
2018 By the Numbers
- 2A STATE CHAMPION
- REGION 8-AA CHAMPION
- PR: 19:03
- 2X TOP-3 REGION
Sanchez is just getting started! As a freshman, she placed 6th at region and 22nd in state. As a sophomore, she was the region runner-up and 13th overall at state. Both of those seasons came as Union played up in Class 3A. No doubt that made her stronger, as the move to 2A has shown her dominance with a region and state title.
- Zoe Sanchez – 86.5 voting pts (13 1st-place votes)
- Frankie Muldoon – 84 pts (9)
- Jaelen Alexander – 34.5 pts
- Caitlin Schroeder – 27 pts
- Katerine Law – 21.5 pts
- Abbie Hilchie – 11 pts
Voting included our 22-person panel made up of sports reporters, writers, video producers, former coaches, players, GHSA officials, and sports experts. The voting is Heisman-style, with the following points system:
1st place votes: 5 pts; 2nd: 3 pts; 3rd: 2 pts; 4th: 1 pts; 5th-6th: 0.5 pts
History of Girls CC ROY
- 2018 – Zoe Sanchez – Union Co JR
- 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 JR
Sanchez wrestled the award away from Frankie Muldoon, who was as good as ever statistically in 2018. Muldoon was the third to win the award in multiple seasons, and now Sanchez will have that chance if she can win again next year. She is the first Union runner to take the award.
Looking Ahead – the Next Favorite(s)
Zoe Sanchez will be the favorite next year, especially with Frankie Muldoon graduating as well as White County’s Jaelen Alexander. However, the other finalists include the Jefferson girls Caitlin Schroeder and Katherine Law, both of which come back next season, as does up-and-comer and finalist from Lumpkin, Abbie Hilchie.
Feature Photo by Todd Forrest / North Ga News