And The Winner Is: MileSplit's Cross Country Award Winners

Best Overall 4-Year Career

Boys Winner: Justin Wachtel (GA)

The Mary Persons senior won the title of Best Overall 4-year Career, earning 29-percent of the vote.

- - - 

What's so impressive about Wachtel is that he's been on the radar in Georgia for the past six seasons.

In 2015, as a seventh-grader in Georgia, he competed for the first time in XC, and then the next year he earned his first win, hitting 17:48.78 on the clock at the Rock Ranch Invitational. 

If nothing else, that set Wachtel up as a name to know in the state -- and eventually, beyond those state borders. 

The Virginia signee did not disappoint over his career, accruing two state championship wins over the past two seasons and a Georgia all-time cross country 5K record of 14:26.91. He posted that time over his junior season at the Alexander/Asics Invitational. He also qualified for Foot Locker Nationals that same year. 

Wachtel would close his high school cross country career with another sub-15, finishing fourth overall at the RunningLane XC National Championships. He won seven races over his senior season and had a total of 35 wins over the past six years.

Total Wins35
National Championship Qualifications1
National Championship Top 5 Finishes0
National Championship Top 40 Finishes1
State Championship Wins2
HS State/MS State Qualifications6
State Top 10 Finishes5
National/Regional-Level Wins0
National/Regional Top 25 Finishes5

Girls Winner: Sydney Thorvaldson, Rawlins (WY)

The Rawlins athlete won the fan vote for the Best Overall 4-year Career with 44-percent of the tallies

    - - -

    Thorvaldson never lost in Wyoming a single time over her four-year career. She ran six sub-17 performances in 2020 and had 20 over her career. 

    She will go down as the state's all-time best athlete in cross country. No questions asked. 

    But even before Thorvaldson reached high school, she was running. Since 2014, she's racked up an incredible 39 wins. Not including this campaign, she qualified for Team Nationals in four straight appearances and was an All-American on every try, including a third-place finish in 2019. 

    She also won the Team Northwest Regional twice, the XC Town USA Meet of Champions and a really impressive racea against Brynn Brown in Lubbock in December. 

    The Arkansas signee's cross country resume is nearly unmatched. 

    Total Wins39
    National Championship Qualifications3
    National Championship Top 5 Finishes1
    National Championship Top 40 Finishes3
    State Championship Wins4
    State Qualifications4
    State Top 5 Finishes4
    National/Regional-Level Wins4
    National/Regional Top 25 Finishes5

    Original Polls: Boys | Girls