Back-to-back! Zoe Sanchez wasted no time in defending what belonged to her last year, and we’re talking about claiming a State Championship AND Runner of the Year honors. She did both, taking care of business!
2019 BY THE NUMBERS
- 2A State Champion
- Region 8-AA Champion
- PR 19:03
- 5 1st-Place Finishes
- 8 Top-5 Finishes
Sanchez was almost always the top runner in any meet, closing with 5 wins, including the most important 2 races in the region and state meets. She PR’d with a 19:03 this season, and in all 8 meets came in the top 5. She finishes her cross country career as a back-to-back region and state champion. As a sophomore in 2017, she took the runner-up spot in region 7-AAA and was 13th in state. That followed by a 6th (region) and 22nd (state) performance as a freshman in 2016.
- Zoe Sanchez – 70 pts (13 1st place votes)
- Paden Bell – 45 pts (1)
- Katherine Law – 36 pts (2)
- Ellie Gearing – 25 pts
It was just about unanimous with Sanchez taking 13 of the 16 1st-place votes to cruise to the finish. Commerce’s Paden Bell took 11 2nd-place votes to finish second, and even took a 1st-place vote. Jefferson’s Katherine Law grabbed 2 1st-place votes.
Voting included our 16-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 RUNNER OF THE YEAR
- 2019 – Zoe Sanchez – Union SR
- 2018 – Zoe Sanchez – Union JR
- 2017 – Frankie Muldoon – Dawson JR
- 2016 – Frankie Muldoon – Dawson SO
- 2015 – Jenna Gearing – White SR
- 2014 – Jenna Gearing – White JR
- 2013 – Jenna Gearing – White SO
- 2012 – Jenna Gearing – White FR
- 2011 – Madalyn Walters – Dawson SR
- 2010 – Madalyn Walters – Dawson JR
- 2009 – Katie Bohannon – Habersham JR
Sanchez continues the trend of runners for the girls award in keeping it multiple years. She’s the fourth to repeat, as 11 of the awards have gone to just 5 individuals. This also means she’s only the 3rd senior to win it.
LOOKING AHEAD – THE NEXT FAVORITE(S)
The finalist group of 4 includes Paden Bell (Commerce) who is the heavy favorite going into next season, along with Jefferson’s Katherine Law. White County has a couple girls who will be in the mix, and there’s always room for someone else unforeseen to enter the conversation.
POY Graphic (Framed) – Zoe Sanchez
POY Graphic (Framed) - Zoe Sanchez