Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year: Ellie Gonzalez, Catholic, junior

For The Baltimore Sun

Ellie Gonzalez

Catholic, junior

With big performances in championship races, Gonzalez turned in another strong season for the Cubs.

The junior repeated as the winner of the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland championship race in November with little trouble. Her time of 18 minutes, 19 seconds easily beat Glenelg Country's Hannah Mansbach by 40 seconds.

After that, Gonzalez scored an even bigger win at the Maryland/D.C. private schools championship -- topping Caroline Reiser of St. Mary's by 1 minute, 35 seconds. She also won that race last fall.

Last year, she set a meet record with her victory in the IAAM championship at Oregon Ridge (17:59). With colder weather and a tougher course this year, Gonzalez still won easily after leading for most of the race.

"It's my goal the entire season to prepare for [the] championship," Gonzalez said after the race. "It can be [my] big moment."

Gonzalez won the Battle of the Potomac race, becoming the first girl to break 19 minutes on the course in its seven-year history. She also finished unbeaten in IAAM competition this season.

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