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Saint Mark’s junior Tiffany Herrera wins state Gatorade Player of Year Award for cross country

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Tiffany Herrera leads the field at Killens Pond State Park during the DIAA cross country state championships in December. Photo courtesy of Saint Mark's High School.

WILMINGTON — Tiffany Herrera, a junior at Saint Mark’s High School, has been named the 2020-21 Gatorade Delaware Cross Country Player of the Year. Each year, the Gatorade award recognizes elite athletes in 12 varsity sports for their excellence in athletics, academics and character.

Last fall, Herrera was the state Division II individual cross country champion with a time of 18:51.2, beating 115 other runners and leading Saint Mark’s to a second-place finish at Killens Pond State Park. She also won the Catholic Conference championship, the Delaware Sports Club Open and the Saint Mark’s Invitational.

Off the course, Herrera has volunteered on behalf of a summer camp and a program for students with special needs.

“This means so much because it shows all the hard work I put into my training and team,” she said. “Getting this award has been one of my goals since freshman year, and I definitely would not have gotten it if it wasn’t for my coaches, teammates, family and people I compete against pushing me out of my comfort zone to better myself.”

Mike DiGenaaro, the Spartans’ head coach, said the award is well-deserved.

“Tiffany leads by example, on and off the cross-country course. She’s the hardest-working runner I have ever coached, but she’s also extremely humble and gracious.”

Herrera is now eligible for the national award. The winner will be announced in April.