Winham wins Gatorade award

Seabury Hall junior won state title, was Hawaii’s top finisher at Foot Locker regional

Veronica Winham heads to a win in October’s Maui Interscholastic League cross country championship at Kahului Community Center. The Maui News / BRAD SHERMAN photo

The Maui News

Seabury Hall junior Veronica Winham, whose individual state cross country championship led the Spartans to the unofficial all-classification team title in October, was named the Gatorade Hawaii Runner of the Year on Monday.

Winham won the state meet at Hawaii Preparatory Academy on the Big Island with a time of 20 minutes, 55.66 seconds, and Seabury took the Division II team championship with 28 points. Punahou was the Division I champion with 58.

Winham won five Maui Interscholastic League races in 2016, including the championship meet. She was also the Spartans’ top finisher at the Punahou Invitational, placing third, and at a regular-season HPA meet, where she was the runner-up.

Last month at the Foot Locker West Regional championships, Winham was Hawaii’s top finisher, placing 123rd overall in the elite field with a time of 20:49.7.

The Gatorade award “recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off” the course. Winham has a weighted 3.74 grade-point average, and has volunteered for Best Buddies International and the Rotary Interact Club.

Winham is now eligible for the Gatorade national cross country award, which is to be presented in January or February. She will also be able to select a sports organization to receive a $1,000 grant from Gatorade’s Play It Forward program, and can enter an essay contest for an additional grant worth $10,000.

Winham is the third MIL winner of the state award. Dakota Grossman, a 2014 graduate of Seabury Hall, received the award four times, and King Kekaulike graduate Bailey Massenburg won after taking the state title in 2008 as a senior.