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St. Marys' Drazba wins W.Va. Gatorade Award

Jan. 20, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Maggie Drazba from St. Marys High School was selected as the 2012 Gatorade West Virginia Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year.

The Gatorade Company, along with ESPN High School, made Drazba the first Gatorade winner from St. Marys.

The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the racecourse.

Drazba, reigning West Virginia Class AA/A cross country champion, becomes a finalist for the Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year award.

In October, the 5-foot-1 Drazba won her third state cross country title. She covered the 5K course at Cabell Midland High School in 17:17.89, a course record. Samantha Nightingale (Blue Spring South, Mo.) had the previous best, 17:32.7 in 2011.

After the season, Drazba, along with Amelia Paladino of University, became the first West Virginia females to compete at the Footlocker National Championships. Drazba placed 22nd (18:06) and Paladino 30th (18:26). Drazba qualified by running a personal-best 17:10 in the Footlocker South Regional in Charlotte.

Drazba also has given a verbal commitment to continue her cross country and track careers at West Virginia University.

In the spring, Drazba will seek to defend her titles in the 800, 1600 and 3200 in the State Track Meet at Laidley Field in Charleston.

At school, Drazba has maintained a 4.05 grade point average in the classroom. A devoted member of her church community and the sports editor of her school newspaper, she has volunteered locally on behalf of the Boys and Girls Club of America and the National Honor Society.

Previous cross country runners of the year include Sarah McCauley, Philip Barbour; Alex Dent, Hurricane; and Letitia Propst, Elkins.