BLITZ XC Runner of the Year: Nealeigh Broadwell

Very few athletes finish a season – yet alone their high school career – as a state champion. Very few are athletes are Nealeigh Broadwell. The White County star distance runner polished off her career with a region and state championship, then was invited to the prestigious Meet of Champions. Broadwell is named BLITZ Girls XC Runner of the Year.

Photo in graphic by Atlanta Track Club
nealeigh-broadwell-white-county

POY Framed Print (11×14) – Nealeigh Broadwell

POY Framed Print (11×14) – Nealeigh Broadwell

$32.99

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

  • 3A State Champion! (20:35)
  • Region 7-AAA Champion! (20:00) *PR
  • PR 20:00
  • 3 1st-Place Finishes
  • 6 Top-10 Finishes
  • Meet of Champions – 50th Place (20:56)

Of the 10 events Broadwell ran in 2022, she finished inside the top-10 6 times, including 3 1st-place finishes and 5 times in the top-5. She saved her best for at the end of the year, winning the region title by a full 27 seconds. That came with a PR run of 20:00. She followed it up with a state championship, the first for White County since legendary Jenna Gearing. Broadwell took the top spot on the podium at 20:35, 7 seconds ahead of the runner-up. She wrapped up her career with a 50th-place finish (20:56) at the Meet of Champions.

VOTING RESULTS

  1. Nealeigh Broadwell – 93 pts (18 1st-place votes)
  2. Audrey Hotard – 48 pts (1)
  3. Lola Hunter – 41.5 pts
  4. Anna LeCave – 24 pts
  5. Kiley Powell – 11 pts
  6. Ermay Vazquez – 9.75 pts
  7. Sarah Bailey – 5.5 pts

Voting included our 19-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
7th-8th 0.25 pts

Nealeigh Broadwell was just about a unanomous selection for Runner of the Year, taking 18 out of 19 1st-place votes. Audrey Hotard took the only other 1st-place vote, and freshman phenom Lola Hunter did well in the voting.

HISTORY OF GIRLS XC ROY

  • 2022 – Nealeigh Broadwell – White SR
  • 2021 – Katherine Law – Jefferson SR
  • 2020 – Katherine Law – Jefferson JR
  • 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

Nealeigh Broadwell takes the Runner of the Year honors for White County for the first time since Jenna Gearing’s 4-peat from 2012-2015. She’s only the 6th senior to win the hardware.

WHO WILL WIN IT NEXT YEAR?

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Blitz Button Examples

POY Button (3″) – Nealeigh Broadwell

POY Button (3″) – Nealeigh Broadwell

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