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Rilee Rigdon named Gatorade's Oklahoma Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year

posted Jan 29, 2018, 1:11 PM by Granger Meador   [ updated Jan 31, 2018, 3:19 AM ]
Rilee Rigdon of Bartlesville High School has been named the 2017-18 Gatorade Oklahoma Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. Rigdon is the first Gatorade Oklahoma Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Bartlesville High School. This is the 33rd year in which Gatorade has honored the nation’s best high school athletes, including cross country honors since 2007.

The award distinguishes Rigdon as Oklahoma’s best high school girls cross country runner. It is based not only on outstanding athletic excellence but also on high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the race course. Rigdon is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year award which will be announced in January. 

The 5-foot-5 senior won the Class 6A state meet title this past season, breaking the tape with a time of 18:15.81 to finish 15.74 seconds ahead of her next-closest competitor and lead the Bruins to a second-place finish as a team. Rigdon won seven of eight races on the season and was unbeaten against in-state competition. A three-time First Team All-State selection, she’s been a two-time finalist for the Tulsa World’s Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year.

A violinist in the Bartlesville High school orchestra, Rigdon has volunteered locally at a homeless shelter and food bank. She has also donated her time as an elementary school tutor and a youth running coach. “Rilee was by far the best runner in the state of Oklahoma this fall,” said David Riden, head coach of Deer Creek High. “I never saw her seriously challenged by anyone from our state.”

Rigdon has maintained a 3.66 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to run cross country on scholarship at Oklahoma State University 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 Player of the Year Selection Committee, 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.

Rigdon joins Gatorade Oklahoma Girls Cross Country Runners of the Year Cheyenne Walden (2016-17, 2015-16 & 2014-15, Charles Page High School), Alex Davis (2012-13 & 2011-12, Plainview High School), Noemi Hernandez (2010-11, Westmoore High School), Jori Davis (2009-10, Piedmont High School), Andrea Lewis (2008-09, Bishop Kelley), and Sara Vaughn (2007-08, Union) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007.

As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Rigdon will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. Twelve spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.

To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow the conversation on Twitter #GatoradePOY. 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 http://playeroftheyear.gatorade.com/.
Rilee Rigdon
Rilee Rigdon of Bartlesville High School has been named the 2017-18 Gatorade Oklahoma Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year

Rilee Rigdon's medals