Aisling Cuffe's week may very well have been better than your entire life.
That's not a knock on you, but rather a reflection of just how amazing the Cornwall Central (New Windsor, N.Y.)
senior distance runner has been.
Over the weekend, Cuffe dominated the field by more than 200 yards, covering 6 kilometers in 21 minutes, 13 seconds and winning the USA Cross Country Championships junior girls title in San Diego.
Cuffe, a 17-year-old Stanford recruit who owns two U.S. junior titles on the track in the 5,000 meters, made her first national team. She'll represent the U.S. next month at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Punta Umbria, Spain.
Cuffe's great week began with an unexpected house full of visitors.
Gatorade officials were planning to surprise Cuffe at school to present her with their 2010-11 National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year award, but weather canceled classes. So they changed course and brought three-time Olympic medalist sprinter Allyson Felix to Cuffe's home to make the presentation.
Felix won the Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year award in 2002-03, then captured overall Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year honors in 2003.
Cuffe literally won everything possible on the cross country trails even before the weekend trip to San Diego. She was the top finisher at the Foot Locker Cross Country Nationals in San Diego in December on the heels of NYSPHSAA Class A and Federation triumphs. She also beat star-studded fields at the Great American Cross Country Festival, the Manhattan Invitational and the Foot Locker Northeast Regionals.
Cuffe is the fourth girl and eighth athlete overall from New York to win national Gatorade honors. The other female winners were soccer player Christie Welsh (1998), and basketball players Nicole Kaczmarski (1999) and Tina Charles (2006). Boys achieving that recognition were basketball standouts Kenny Anderson (1989), Felipe Lopez (1994) and Stephon Marbury (1995) and football player Greg Paulus (2004).
John Schiano, who has written about high school sports in western and central New York for more than 25 years, covers New York for MaxPreps. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.