In its 31st year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, Gatorade, in collaboration with USA Today High School Sports, announced that junior Maria Coffin of Annapolis High as its 2015-16 Gatorade Maryland Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year.
Coffin, the first Annapolis runner to receive the Gatorade honor, is a finalist for the Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year award. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character.
Coffin joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Ryan Hall (1999-00, 2000-01, Big Bear HS, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.) and Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.).
The 5-foot-4 junior raced to the Class 4A individual state championship this past season with a time of 18:25.2. The Baltimore Sun's All-Metro Girls Runner of the Year in the fall, Coffin took third place at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional championships, crossing the line in 17:42.7. She also qualified for the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships where she finished 27th in 18:22.6.
Coffin has maintained a 4.39 weighted GPA in the classroom. A member of her school concert choir, she has volunteered locally on behalf of her church youth group and as a youth track & field coach.
"Maria Coffin has an unwavering focus and dedication to the sport of running," said Annapolis coach Paula Carrigan. "Her passion is evident and she is always curious and wants to learn as much as she can to improve and become a stronger runner. With her workouts and racing, she is willing to find her new edge, explore it and push those limits to the maximum."