Meet XC Candidates For The Makaia Gilkey Athlete Of The Year Award

It is that time of the year again, the time to evaluate the credentials and name athletes that are in contention for the Makaia Gilkey Athlete of the Year Award for Fall 2022. This is a seasonal award given to the athlete named the top one for their respective season and is named in the memory of Myrtle Point athlete Makaia Gilkey, who tragically died in a car crash around Christmas 2021. This list contains the cross country candidates for the Makaia Gilkey Athlete of the Year, along with their resumes that have them in this spot.

Ana Peters – Lake Oswego

Achievements: 2022 6A Cross Country State Champion

Explanation: Any cross country state champion will find themselves on this list, as you cannot make an argument for athletes that don’t win their state title without the ones that actually did. Ana pulled a small upset in Eugene, finding herself in a crowded field with Jesuit’s Maura O’Scannlain, Lincoln’s Keira Saavedra, and Central Catholic’s Ella McGillis. Only a sophomore, Ana followed in her sister Kate’s footsteps as she won the 6A Championship in a photo finish over Ella McGillis, passing Ella and Maura O’Scannlain down the stretch to win the title.

Emily Wisniewski – Crescent Valley

Achievements: 2021 and 2022 5A Cross Country State Champion, Fastest XC Athlete in Oregon for 2022

Explanation: This one doesn’t require much of one, especially when you consider her resume. Emily is a back-to-back state champion in the 5A classification and the only athlete in Crescent Valley history to win an individual title, let alone two in a row. She also came out as the fastest athlete in Oregon this season, smashing second-place by around 14 seconds in terms of best times recorded.

Kyla Potratz – Phoenix

Achievements: 2022 4A Cross Country State Champion, Fastest XC Athlete in 4A

Explanation: Kyla had a neck-and-neck battle through most of the 4A Championship, but she eventually blew it open in the final third of the race to win it by almost 26 seconds over second-place Cecilia Villagomez. She went out with a bang as a senior, becoming the first individual champion in Phoenix history, and finishing with the fastest time in 4A this season.

Photo: Elite Oregon Girls

Daisy LaLonde – East Linn Christian

Achievements: 2022 3A/2A/1A Cross Country State Champion, Fastest XC Athlete in 3A/2A/1A

Explanation: Another first-time champion, Daisy brought East Linn their first individual title in school history with her state title in Eugene. She led the entire race and never gave a glimpse of hope for the field, winning by a comfortable 12 second margin over state runner-up Lauren Tittel. Her race time of 18:36.6 from early October also stood the test of time, finishing as the fastest time in the classification and the “oldest” top time in any class this season. As a sophomore, Daisy has two more years ahead of potential success to build her resume at East Linn Christian.

Maura O’ScannlainJesuit

Achievements: Fastest XC Athlete in 6A

Explanation: Maura literally gave everything she had in the 6A Championship race, leaving everything out at finish line as she came up just short of the state title with her third-place finish in Eugene. Regardless, Maura finished with the fastest time in Class 6A by 9.3 seconds and had a great sophomore season for the Crusaders. Next year, Maura will be hungrier than ever to add a state title to her resume.

Selection

The selection of the Makaia Gilkey Athlete of the Year will be announced on Sunday, November 27th, with these ladies being placed in a group with volleyball, soccer, and water polo athletes from the fall campaign. Recognition to the top athletes in each sport will be included with the Makaia Gilkey Athlete of the Year, with the winner of the award receiving a customized, physical award to accompany it.

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