Gatorade Names Dalia Frias 2021 CA Girls Top XC Runner


Mira Costa senior Dalia Frias, whose stellar 2021 XC season included a course record in winning the Woodbridge Cross Country Classic, has been recognized as CA's top runner by Gatorade. (Patrick Corsinita photo)

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Dalia Frias, who won Southern Section Division 2 and CIF-State Division II individual cross country titles while leading Mira Costa (SS) to a historic season and its first State Meet title, has been named the California recipient of the Gatorade "Player of the Year" award for the 2021 XC season.

Frias, who is headed to Duke University, won the CIF-State Division II title, running the 5K Woodward Park course in 16:52.00, which ranks as the second-fastest time ever by a girl in Division II and ranks as the fifth-fastest ever by a senior in the history of the meet dating to 1987. Her individual accomplishment also led the team to its first State Meet title.

In winning the Southern Section Division 2 title, Frias ran the Mt. SAC course in 16:48.60 while leading her team to its first section title since 1982.

Additionally, she won seven of 10 races, including the Sweepstakes race at Woodbridge, setting a 3-mile record on the SilverLakes course in Norco of 15:43.50. That time is a national season-best on 3-mile courses regardless of class.

She also won the D1-D2 Team Sweepstakes race at Mt. SAC in 16:42.80, the fastest time at the two-day meet by 33.10 seconds.

Frias concluded her stellar senior season with a fifth-place finish at the Garmin RunningLane National Championships, running the flat and fast 5K course in Huntsville, Alabama in 16:37.20.

"What sets Dalia apart from other runners is her talent combined with her incredible work ethic," Mira Costa coach Renee Williams-Smith said in the Gatorade release. "She has developed the ability to enjoy the training and racing at the highest level while bringing everyone along for the ride with her."

The Gatorade award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. In winning California's high school girls cross country honor, Frias is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Player of the Year award to be announced in February.