Jochen named Gatorade Texas girls cross country runner of the year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Lauren Rollins (312-729-3607)                                                                                                                                    

A&M CONSOLIDATED HIGH SCHOOL STANDOUT NAMED GATORADE TEXAS GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY RUNNER OF THE YEAR

CHICAGO (January 10, 2013) — In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Karis Jochen of A&M Consolidated High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Texas Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year.  Jochen is the first Gatorade Texas Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from A&M Consolidated 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 Jochen as Texas’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, Jochen joins an elite alumni association of past state awardwinners 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-5 senior raced to the Class 5A individual state championship this past season with a time of 17:18.1. The state’s returning Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Jochen also won the Nike Cross Nationals South Regional championship with a time of 17:17.3 and captured fifth at the NXN Final in 19:42.  She finished second at the Foot Locker South Regional championships and took fifth nationally at the national Foot Locker Cross Country 
Championships in 17:36.

Jochen has maintained a 4.49 GPA in the classroom. A science tutor in her school and a member of the student council, she has volunteered locally on behalf of food drives, summer reading initiatives and youth sports programs. 

“Karis is the epitome of hard work and dedication,” said A&M Consolidated head coach Shawn Schroeder. “The reason for her success is directly related to the intense focus she has on a daily basis toward training and the classroom. She has worked harder than any athlete I have ever coached.”

Jochen has verbally committed to an athletic scholarship at Texas A&M 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. 

Jochen joins Gatorade Texas Girls Cross Country Runners of the Year Rachel Johnson (2010-11, Plano Senior High School), and Chelsey Sveinsson (2009-10, 2008-09 & 2007-08, Greenhill School), 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 playeroftheyear.gatorade.com.

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