During the cross country season, Futsum Zeinasellassie of North Central (Indianapolis)
and Molly Seidel of University Lake (Hartland, Wis.)
had few peers on the course.
Their status as the nation's best runners was solidified off it this week when they were selected the National Cross Country Runners of the Year by Gatorade.
Zeinasellassie, a senior, is the first runner from Indiana to win the award. The award capped a season in which he won his third consecutive Indiana state title, won the Nike Cross Nationals in record time
and placed second at the Foot Locker National Championships by 1 second. According to the Indianapolis Star, Zeinasellassie has Butler, Indiana and Purdue on his college list.
Seidel won the Foot Locker National Championships in December after winning the event's Midwest Regional. She also became only the second runner in Wisconsin state history to win a title in each of her four seasons and finished undefeated this past season. Seidel has committed to Notre Dame.
As sport winners, Zeinasellasie and Seidel are eligible for the overall Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year award in their respective genders. The national winners will be recognized in July at The ESPY Awards.