Lincoln East High School student-athlete named Gatorade Nebraska Girls Cross Country Player of the year

Gatorade Player of the Year
Gatorade Player of the Year(10/11 NOW)
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 7:24 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -Gatorade announced on Monday that Mia Murray of Lincoln East High School is the 2022-23 Gatorade Nebraska Girls Cross Country Player of the Year. Murray is the second Gatorade Nebraska Girls Cross Country Player of the Year to be chosen from Lincoln East High School.

Gatorade said the award recognizes athletic skill, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. distinguishes Murray is now a finalist for the Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Player of the Year award to be announced in January.

Murray joins an alumni association of state award winners, including Natalie Cook (2021-22, Flower Mound High School, Flower Mound, Texas), Katelyn Tuohy (2019-20, North Rockland High School, Thiels, N.Y.), Megan Goethals (2009-10, Rochester High School, Rochester Hills, Mich.) and Jordan Hasay (2008-09, Mission College Preparatory Catholic High School, San Luis Obispo, Calif.).

The 5-foot-5 junior raced to the Class A individual state championship this past season with a time of 18:23.4, leading the Spartans to the state title as a team. Murray also won the Titan Classic, Harold Scott Invitational, Nebraska-Kearney Invitational and the Lincoln Public School Championships along with taking second in the Millard South Invitational. She improved by more than 20 seconds from last season in her return to the Nike Heartland Regional Championships in South Dakota, finishing 32nd. Murray has volunteered locally with the St. Luke’s Catholic Church Youth Group, including at homeless shelters, nursing homes and on behalf of youth activities at the church. She has also served as a volunteer coach for the Lincoln Community Track Club and has donated her time as a mentor at the Lincoln East Youth Track clinic.

“Mia Murray was the only Nebraska girl in any classification to run under 18:30 at the state meet,” said Erik Boal, an editor for “She improved by more than a minute from her eighth-place effort at last year’s final to lead Lincoln East to a team title.”

Murray has maintained a 4.05 weighted GPA in the classroom. She will begin her senior year of high school this fall.

Murray joins recent Gatorade Nebraska Girls Cross Country Players of the Year Elli Dahl (2021-22, Fremont High School), Stella Miner (2020-21, Marian High School), Berlyn Schutz (2019-20, Lincoln East High School), and Kaylie Crews (2018-19, Papillion-La Vista South High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.

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 Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.

Through Gatorade’s Play it Forward initiative, every Player of the Year receives a grant to give to one of Gatorade’s social impact partners, supporting Gatorade’s ambition to fuel the future of sport. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.

To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student athletes, visit or follow us on social media on Facebook at, Instagram at and Twitter at