It is every parent’s hope and dream that their children end up accomplishing more than they did. For some children that is not very hard to do but when your father is a local sports legend and in the Hall of Fame and your mother was also an accomplished track star to do better in athletic competition than them would seem to be hard hill to climb.
That is unless the child is adept at climbing hills. You can add running back down them and covering long distances on often very uneven terrain and doing all of this better than any other competitor in the entire state.
Lily Garrett, who preps at Ruston High but has roots in Jackson Parish, was the LHSAA Class 5A state champion at the meet in Natchitoches with a time of 18:08.30 over the 5K course. It was the sixth fastest time in history over the Natchitoches course.
As result the 5’6″ junior has been named the Gatorade Louisiana Girls Cross Country Player of the Year.
“I’m very excited to win the Gatorade POY. It has taken a lot of hard work and sacrifice,” Garrett told Gannett Louisiana. “My goal is never to win awards, but it sure is nice when you’re recognized with one, especially of this caliber.”
The Gatorade award, which recognizes both athletic and academic achievement makes Garrett a finalist for the national award to be announced in February. The daughter of JHHS legend Bob Garrett and wife Karen is the perfect representative as she has a personal best of 17:27.31, which she set at the 2021 5A Region I meet and maintains a 3.22 grade point average in college prep courses.
“Lily is a true testament to if you put in the necessary work, good things will happen,” Ruston track coach Allen Whitacker said. “I’m excited for her and her family to receive such an honor.”
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