Landmark Christian senior Nicole Fegans, the Class A girls state champion and a top-10 finisher nationally, is the Gatorade Georgia girls cross country runner of the year.
Fegans was largely an unheralded runner until midway into the season last fall, when it was discovered she had an iron deficiency.
After a 19th-place finish at the Wingfoot XC Classic in Cartersville on Sept. 24, Fegans went for a checkup. It was discovered that her ferritin levels were at 9, well below normal.
After treatment, Fegans was nearly unstoppable. She won five straight races through the state meet and the Georgia Meet of Champions in November.
Fegans continued to cut time from there. She set a personal-best of 17:26.80 in finishing fourth at the Foot Locker South Regional in Charlotte. Then in December, she finished seventh at Foot Locker Nationals in San Diego.
Fegans has signed to run at Georgia Tech.
The Gatorade Player of the Year award honors top high school student-athletes in 12 varsity sports for their athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team.