Girls Runner of the Year

Precedent-an earlier event or action that is regarded as an example or guide to be considered in subsequent similar circumstances.

Back in the 1997 cross country season our newest star came along, Sara Bei. She amazed all winning state in division III and taking 10th at the Nationals. She was our best runner that year. But we had another state champ that same year in Trina Cox taking the division I title. I made up my mind then that if someone was good enough to win a state title then I was going to make them at least Co-Runner of the Year.

Thank goodness for precedent. Picking the boys this year was a toughie. But I would have hated to feel like I had to pick just one girl this year.
Healdsburg’s Gabrielle “Gabby” Peterson was a star in nearly every meet she ran in this year. Six wins before league finals, three of those at Invitationals.
She then destroyed the field at Sonoma County Finals followed by our areas only NCS win in division IV.
It was a season that most runners could only dream of.

But then Sonoma Academy’s Rylee Bowen won her third state championship. Like her teammate Andre Williams it was the single best performance of the year.
But she had almost nothing else to add to it this year.
She ran two small local races in September winning one and crossing the line third in the other.
October 25th she ran in the combined race at Spring Lake behind Maria Carrillo’s Aimee Armstrong before they split off to different finish lines.
She did win the rain soaked CMC finals, before finishing 3rd at the NCS division V finals.
But for Rylee this was all just the warm up for the meet that meant the most to her as she shocked many with her state meet win.

Maria Carrillo’s Sydnie Rivas and Aimee Armstrong traded off this season as the top NBL runners.

Who knows maybe some day there will be five co-winners for this award if we sweep all the state meet races.

Gabrielle Peterson
Junior, Healdsburg
NCS IV Champion ,SCL Champion,
Rahm, Sr/Jr Viking & Eye Opener Champion, 25th State IV, plus three other wins
Photo by Shannon Peterson

Rylee Bowen
Senior, Sonoma Academy
State V Champion, CMC Champion, 3rd NCS V, plus two other wins
Photo by Thomas Benjamin

Aimee Armstrong
Junior, Maria Carrillo
2nd NBL, 14th State III, 8th NCS III, plus two other meets
Photo by Michael Lucid
Sydnie Rivas
Senior, Maria Carrillo
NBL Champion, 10th State III, 5th NCS III
Photo by Michael Lucid