Emma Wilson Named IN Gatorade XC Runner of the Year

Emma Wilson earned the honor of Indiana cross country runner of the year from Gatorade for the 2nd year in a row. Wilson ramped up her senior cross country season by earning her 2nd state title and earning a spot at NXN once again. She is the first athlete from Greencastle to win the cross country runner of the year award. This spring Emma Wilson is racing unattached from her high school and will attend the University of Illinois next fall. Read the full press release from Gatorade below.

PRESS RELEASE (January 28, 2019) - In its 34th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Emma Wilson of Greencastle High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Indiana Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. Wilson is the first Gatorade Indiana Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Greencastle High School.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the racecourse, distinguishes Wilson as Indiana's best high school girls cross country runner. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year award to be announced in February, Wilson joins an elite alumni association of past state award winners in 12 sports, including Lukas Verzbicas (2010-11, 2009-10 Carl Sandburg High School, Orland Park, Ill.), Megan Goethals (2009-10, Rochester High School, Rochester Hills, Mich.), Jordan Hasay (2008-09, Mission College Preparatory Catholic High School, San Luis Obispo, Calif.) and Chris Derrick (2007-08, Neuqua Valley High School, Naperville, Ill.).

The 5-foot-6 senior raced to the state championship this past season with a time of 17:53.9. The state's returning Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Wilson also finished fourth at the Nike Cross Nationals Midwest Regional championships in 17:41.8 and took 32nd nationally at the NXN Final. In addition, she captured victories at the Sectional, Regional and Semi-State championships, as well as at the Dave Bannon Invitational and the THSB Invitational.

Also a talented musician and artist, Wilson has volunteered locally on behalf of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. "There's no individual in this state more deserving than Emma Wilson," said Heath Pruitt, head coach at South Putnam High School. "She's been the dominant force in girls cross country in our area since she entered high school, and even when she was in middle school, it was clear that she was destined to be a special talent. I think she's always had the heart and mind of a champion." Wilson has maintained a 3.88 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in cross country and track and field on scholarship at the University of Illinois this fall.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Two-time winner Wilson joins Gatorade Indiana Girls Cross Country Runners of the Year Tyler Schwartz (2016-17, DeKalb High School), Sarah Leinheiser (2015-16, Carmel High School), Anna Rohrer (2014-15, Mishawaka High School), and Kelcy Welch (2013-14, Carmel High School) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007.

As a part of Gatorade's cause marketing platform "Play it Forward," Wilson has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. She is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.

Since the program's inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.

To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.