Less than three months after winning her second individual cross country state championship in two years, Anjali Hocker Singh received a big award.
The Olathe North sophomore was named 2021-22 Gatorade Kansas Girls Cross Country Player of the Year on Monday. She became the first ON runner to receive the award.
Hocker Singh capped her 2021 season by dominating the Class 6A state race and crossing the finish line 26 seconds ahead of the runner-up, her teammate sophomore Shea Johnson. Hocker Singh clocked a 17:45.6 in the 5K race, which was the best time in all classes across the state.
It was her second individual cross country title in her two years of high school. Hocker Singh in on pace to become the seventh four-time girls champion in KSHSAA history.
That list includes includes Dodie Martin of Stanton County (1995-1998); Amy Mortimer of Riley County (1995-1998); Trisa Nicoley of Shawnee Heights (2000-2003); Laura Roxberg of Blue Valley Northwest (2004-2007); Cailie Logue of Girard (2013-2016) and Taylor Briggs of Chapman (2017-2020).
Hocker Singh’s individual title helped the Eagles finish second as a team to cross-town rival Olathe West, which won its second-straight team championship.
The Owls quote tweeted the Eagles’ tweet congratulating Hocker Singh on her award. They said, “Way to go, Anjali!! Incredible runner and person! We are proud of you!!”
Following the school season, Hocker Singh finished fourth at the NXR Heartland Regional Championships, running a personal-best time of 17:11.5. She also placed 12th at the Eastbay Midwest Regional Cross Country Championships.
According to the press release, Hocker Singh joins recent Gatorade Kansas Girls Cross Country Players of the Year Taylor Briggs (2020-21, Chapman High School), Hope Jackson (2019-20, Bishop Carroll Catholic High School), Jaybe Shufelberger (2018- 19, Washburn Rural High School), and Olivia Sovereign (2017-18, Saint Thomas Aquinas High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
– story by Jimmy Gillispie