Tierney Wolfgram Named Minnesota's Gatorade Player Of The Year For Girls Cross Country

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."

Of course, ever the team runner, Wolfgram's most lasting moment of the fall was not basking in her accomplishments, but those of her good friends and teammates. "My number one memory from this season was watching my training partners, Jack Osborne and Harris Anderson, cross the sections finish line and qualify for the State Meet. It was such a great moment for me because we had all worked so hard for our goals and we each surpassed them. All the miles and training runs that we completed were made entertaining and fun by both of them, along with my coach Brendan Ruter." However, among her own accomplishments, nothing compares to her record-setting race in Sioux Falls. "When I crossed the finish line at the Nike Heartland Regional, that was the most memorable race for me so far in my career. I had a bunch of my teammates and my family there to cheer me on."

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

Time Meet Date Place
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
17:19.0 Jordan Invitational 10-Oct-17 1st
19:02.5 Swain Meet 7-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
17:58.2 Faribault Invitational 8-Sep-17 1st
18:04.0 St. Olaf High School Showcase 31-Aug-17 2nd