Madison's Emily Hawkes is South Dakota's Gatorade Cross Country Athlete of the Year



CHICAGO (January 8, 2015) — In its 30th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Emily Hawkes of Madison High

School as its 2014-15 Gatorade South Dakota Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. Hawkes is the first Gatorade South Dakota Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Madison 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 Hawkes as South

Dakota’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 January, Hawkes 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 senior raced to the Class A individual state championship this past season with a time of 14:47.9, leading the Bulldogs to a second-place finish as a team. 

Also the 2014 South Dakota Cross Country and Track & Field Coaches Association’s Cross Country Runner of the Year in 2014, Hawkes completed an undefeated season this fall and ran the fastest all-class time at the state meet.

Hawkes has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. An accomplished pianist, she has served as the president of her school’s student council and volunteered locally on behalf of her church youth group and a nursing home.

“Emily Hawkes fought through many adversities over the past year, but she stayed focused and had a banner year this year in cross country,” said Jason Bohl, head coach at Garretson High. “She finished the season undefeated and had the top overall time at the South Dakota State Cross Country meet. It has been a pleasure to watch her over the years and I am fortunate to have gotten to know her personally.”

Hawkes has verbally committed to an athletic scholarship at Brigham Young University beginning 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 high school sports leadership team in partnership with

USA TODAY High School Sports, 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.

Hawkes joins Gatorade South Dakota Girls Cross Country Runners of the Year Tamara Gorman (2013-14, 2012-13 & 2010-11, Stevens High School), Alex Hess (2011-12, Roosevelt High School), Madeleine Takahashi (2009-10, Sturgis Brown), Seanna Kautz (2008-09, Roosevelt), and Mariah Hofer (2007-08, Yankton) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007.

To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit

Cover Photo by Kernit Grimshaw