After being named the Gatorade West Virginia Cross Country Player of the Year as a sophomore and junior, Irene Riggs capped her high school career not just with the state distinction but that of the country.
On Wednesday, Riggs was named the Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Player of the Year.
Courtesy of Gatorade
The Morgantown High School (W.V.) senior dominated the track this season, winning the Nike Cross Nationals championship with a time of 16:40.9, which was the second-fastest time run at Glendoveer Golf Course. She also won an individual Group 3A championship and helped her team win the state title.
She etched her name into the record books at the Team Southeast Regional in November, recording the second-fastest 5K time in girls cross country history with a time of 16:02.1. To further put that time in perspective, only five times had a girls cross country runner reached even 16:20.0 in a 5K, according to MileSplit. Riggs’ time was 20 seconds faster than the WakeMed record, which was previously held by three-time Gatorade National Player of the Year Katelyn Tuohy.
Gatorade also takes education and community service into account when deciding the award. Riggs, the student body vice president, had a 4.22 unweighted GPA, according to Gatorade. She also has served as the social media coordinator for Mohigan Idol, a talent competition that raises money for WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital.
Riggs is committed to Stanford, where she will run for the Cardinal.
Watch the full announcement video below: