Karina James after her first-place finish at the 2020 XC State Champs
Lowell High School junior and top distance runner, Karina James has been named the 2020-2021 Indiana Girls Gatorade Cross Country Athlete of the Year. James won her first state title this past fall in a narrow victory over Ft. Wayne Carrol's Zoe Duffus, crossing in 18-flat.
James went undefeated for her junior campaign, capping off the season with her best time of the year. She holds a lifetime best of 17:41, which she ran at the 2019 Nike Team Regional meet in Terre Haute, just missing a spot at Team Nationals in Oregon.
This spring, she will be looking to go after another state title. In 2019, she placed 7th in the 3200. The only other all-state competitor from that field that returns is Annalyssa Crain who took 6th that year. Her junior track campaign could be opening up as early as this weekend; Lowell is scheduled to compete at Culver Academies on April 10th.
Read the full press release from Gatorade below.