Yesterday, the long-awaited announcement for the winners of the state Gatorade Player of the Year awards mas made for girls cross country. The real treat in yesterday's announcement for the state of Minnesota was the final coda of one of the most remarkable high school cross country seasons ever experienced in the land of ten-thousand lakes. Few states across the nation rivaled Minnesota when it came to both star power and elite depth on the girls side, and virtually every runner who made this year so memorable in 2017 will return for future seasons. But the final verdict for the judges at Gatorade was that Math & Science Academy's Tierney Wolfgram was the most deserving athlete of the honor.
In most states, the freshman Wolfgram would only be starting her high school running career (Gatorade does not consider middle schoolers for their POY awards), but as Minnesota affords 7th and 8th graders the opportunity to compete in high school varsity athletics, she was already a three-time state Class A champion and was entering the season with very high expectations. "My goal from the beginning was to make it to both of the national meets, Nike and Foot Locker," says Wolfgram. She was ultimately able to achieve that goal, plus a lot more.
Over the course of the season, Wolfgram won another Class A championship, was the NXN Heartland Region champion, earned All-American honors at Foot Locker, and ran the fastest 5k XC time of any high school girl in Minnesota history. Even still, Wolfgram herself wasn't even sure of receiving the honor. "I thought that it was possible to get this award, but since there are so many amazing competitors I was genuinely surprised that I was the one that received it. It is very difficult to get this kind of recognition with such strong competition, so it is fun to see that work pay off."
She also has no shortage of people who helped her along the way. "I would like to thank my training partners and friends, Harris Anderson, Jack Osborne, Coach Brendan and Aric Brodie. I can't thank them enough for all they did for me this season. I would also like to thank my other coaches, Heath Anderson and Ryan Soule, and my team. I am so lucky to have such a great running family."
The young freshman still has a long way to go in her high school running career, and thanks to other great freshman like Grace Ping and Anna Fenske, she will not be unchallenged, and she still has areas she would like to improve. "I'd say that I have a lot of things to work on. But a main thing would be to work on my mental game and my focus during the bigger races."
Congratulations once again to Minnesota's winner of Gatorade's Player of the Year Award for girls cross country, Tierney Wolfgram!
2017 XC Results
|17:51.9||Foot Locker Nationals||9-Dec-17||7th|
|18:19.0||Nike Cross Nationals||2-Dec-17||27th|
|17:45.1||Foot Locker Midwest Regional||25-Nov-17||9th|
|16:48.7||Nike Cross Nationals Heartland Regional||12-Nov-17||1st|
|17:31.6||MSHSL State Cross Country Championships||4-Nov-17||1st|
|17:42.8||MSHSL Section 4A Championships||26-Oct-17||1st|
|17:25.3||Twin Cities Athletic Conference Championships||17-Oct-17||1st|
|17:49.7||Carleton Running of the Cows||30-Sep-17||1st|
|19:17.6||Roy Griak Invitational||23-Sep-17||17th|
|18:04.0||St. Olaf High School Showcase||31-Aug-17||2nd|