By Kellen Browning,
Davis High junior Fiona O’Keeffe’s tremendous running success is no secret. This past cross-country season, O’Keeffe was fourth at the prestigious Nike Cross Nationals meet and won her second state title, as well as numerous other races like the Stanford Invitational (for the second year in a row), the Sac-Joaquin Section Championships (for the third year in a row) and the De La Salle Invitational.
Now, O’Keeffe is being recognized by The Gatorade Company, which annually honors national-class athletes from different sports and named O’Keeffe the 2014-15 Gatorade California Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year.
According to a press release provided by the school district, the award “recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the racecourse […]”
“I’m really honored to receive this award,” O’Keeffe said. “It’s really nice to be acknowledged like this […] I know there are a lot of other good people in California so it’s nice to be recognized.”
O’Keeffe joins an elite group of California Gatorade Player of the Year Award winners in various sports, including Derek Jeter, a 20-season Major League Baseball veteran, and Ryan Hall, the U.S. half marathon record holder.
The Blue Devil speedster is now a finalist for the national girl’s cross-country Gatorade award, which will be announced later in January.
O’Keeffe now hopes to take her talent to the track this spring, where she will try to earn her third state meet qualification. Last year, O’Keeffe clocked an impressive 10:14.60 in the 3200 meters, good for 14th in the nation.