CORNING – The accolades for Corning Hawks cross country runner Jessica Lawson continue to arrive. On Wednesday, Lawson was named the 2013-14 Gatorade New York Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year.
The award, which will come in the form of a trophy for Lawson, as well as a trophy and banner for the new Corning-Painted Post High School, recognizes Lawson’s abilities as a runner, as a student and as a person.
"I feel honored to be able to get this award. It actually took me by surprise," Lawson said. "My dad told me how prestigious this is and I’m starting to grasp how special it is to have gotten this."
Lawson is also now a finalist for the Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year honor, which will be announced later this month.
Lawson, this year’s All-Leader Cross Country Runner of the Year, closed her racing season with wins at the STAC championship, Section IV Championship, the NYSPHSAA Class B state championship and the New York State Federation Meet. Lawson also earned a trip to San Diego, where she competed as one of the nation’s top 40 high school cross country runners at the Foot Locker Nationals.
"I’m thankful that my season went so well. I’ve been trying to take everything in and enjoy everything as it goes," Lawson said. "Now to be named the Gatorade Runner of the Year for New York – it’s just amazing. I didn’t expect all of this."
Lawson also maintains an A average, while being active with 4H, music and as a participant in a local Christmas food basket program.
Lawson joins some big names as a Gatorade state winner, including Abby Wambach (1997-98) for soccer, Derek Jeter (1991-92) for baseball and Mark Sanchez (2004-05) for football.
And for the record, Lawson’s favorite Gatorade flavor is orange.