A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2012 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
For her 50 fellow Gatorade State Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Rebekah Topham
School: Griswold (Iowa)
Athletic achievement: Topham won three individual state championships this spring, leading the Tigers to the Class 1A state title as a team. She broke the tape in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:14.79, the 1500-meter run in 4:44.03, the 3000-meter run in 10:33.66 and earned second place in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:05.11. The 2011-12 Gatorade Iowa Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Topham also claimed first place in the 1500 (4:40.30) and the 3000 (9:58.39) at the Drake Relays. Her time of 4:28.92 in the 1500 earned her sixth place at this month’s USA Track & Field Junior National Championships and ranked as the nation’s No. 18 time by a prep competitor at the time of her selection.
Academic excellence: Topham has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally on behalf of an area nursing home and rehabilitation center and as a vacation bible school counselor.
“Rebekah Topham has accomplished many great things on the track and has always treated her fellow competitors with respect,” said North East Kansas Track Club coach Lance Lenard. “She is the type of athlete that will win a race and then stand just beyond the finish line to congratulate her fellow runners as they cross the finish line. She has given her all to her sport, her family and her faith.”
THE FUTURE: Topham will begin her sophomore year of high school this fall.