Cherry Creek's Riley Stewart named Colorado's girls cross country runner of the year by Gatorade

Riley Stewart Cherry Creek girls cross country

(Steve Abeyta/steveabeytaphotography.com)

Riley Stewart, a junior at Cherry Creek, was named Colorado's girls cross country runner of the year by Gatorade on Thursday.

This is the second consecutive season Stewart has won the award.

Stewart won the Class 5A individual championship last fall, finishing in 17.33.8. She led Cherry Creek to a state title, and was later named the 5A runner of the year.

Stewart is part of Cherry Creek's student-athlete leadership council, and has volunteered locally on behalf of park clean-up initiatives. She has a 4.04 GPA.

"Her toughness and hard work, combined with her natural abilities, make Riley a force to be reckoned with," said Ethan Dusto, head coach at Cherry Creek. "Over three years of coaching, I can count on one hand the number of times that I've given her a workout that was too hard or that she couldn't complete, and even then I had to pull her out, because she would never pull herself out of a workout."

Stewart is the 21st athlete from Cherry Creek to win a Gatorade award, which is the most in the state. She is the fourth two-time winner in state history in girls cross country, joining Boulder's Kelsey Lakowske (2009-10, 2010-11), Niwot's Elise Cranny (2012-13, 2013-14) and Air Academy's Katie Rainsberger (2014-15, 2015-16)