In its 31st year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, announced Calbi Ausmann of Newcastle High School as its 2015-16 Gatorade Wyoming Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year.

Ausmann is the first Gatorade Wyoming Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Newcastle High School.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the race course, distinguishes Ausmann as Wyoming’s best high school girls cross country runner.

Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year award to be announced in January, Ausmann joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Ryan Hall (1999-00, 2000-01, Big Bear HS, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Ladyof Mercy, N.Y.) and Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.).

The 5-foot-7 senior raced to her second straight Class 3A individual state championship this past season with a time of 18:39.1, leading the Doggies to a sixth-place finish as a team.

Ausmann completed an undefeated season this fall, winning the state meet by nearly 30 seconds ahead of the next-fastest competitor.

Ausmann has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom.

A member of the National Honor Society, she has served as the vice president of her student body and has volunteered locally at a homeless shelter in addition to donating her time as a youth basketball and swimming coach.

“It’s tough to run the (state championship) course in Sheridan, but Calbi Ausmann does so with incredible times even with little competition to push her,” said Tanya Kienlen, head coach at Worland High. “Her state times and accomplishments speak for themselves. I also admire when athletes are humble and I feel as if she always demonstrates great sportsmanship.”

Ausmann remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport.

The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Ausmann joins Gatorade Wyoming Girls Cross Country Runners of the Year Karli Piaia (2014-15, Rock Springs High School), Anna Gibson (2013-14, Jackson Hole High School), Hailey Ricks (2012-13 & 2011-12, Star Valley High School), Jessica Lemaster (2010-11 & 2007-08, Cheyenne Central High School), Dana Morin (2009-10, Sheridan High School), and Nicole Peterson (2008-09, Rock Springs High School) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007