Ventura High School student-athlete named California girls cross country player of the year

Engelhardt has also maintained a weighted 4.50 GPA in the classroom.

In its 38th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade announced Sadie Engelhardt of Ventura High School is the 2022-23 Gatorade California Girls Cross Country Player of the Year. Engelhardt is the first Gatorade California Girls Cross Country Player of the Year to be chosen from Ventura High School.

The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field.

The 5-foot-7 sophomore raced to the Division 2 individual state championship this past season with a time of 16:57.84, leading the Cougars to a fifth-place finish as a team. Engelhardt also won the Woodbridge Classic, the Southern Section Championships and the Champs Sports West Regional Championships. She took 10th at the Champs Sports National Championships, earning All-America honors in the process.

Engelhardt has fundraised for Runners for Public Lands to help memorialize a teammate who was killed by a distracted driver. She has also volunteered locally at running events and marathons in addition to working at a local running store. “Sadie Engelhardt overcame illness that interrupted her training on multiple occasions to demonstrate why she is still one of the most impressive athletes in the country,” said Erik Boal, an editor for “In addition to winning a state championship and the Champs Sports West Regional title, she earned All-America honors at the Champs Sports National Championships. Sadie also produced one of the best 3-mile cross country performances in prep history, clocking 15:42.60 to prevail against an exceptional field at the Woodbridge Classic.”

Engelhardt has maintained a weighted 4.50 GPA in the classroom. She will begin her junior year of high school this fall.

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.

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

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