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Sidwell Senior Runs To Gatorade Greatness

By DCSAA, 01/28/16, 1:00PM EST



By Brian Kapur; Current Newspapers


For the third straight year, Sidwell is home to D.C.’s Gatorade girls cross-country player of the year. Senior Taylor Knibb, who also won the Gatorade honor in 2015, was announced as this year’s recipient Jan. 14.

“The commitment and discipline Taylor puts into her training is unrivaled,” Sidwell coach Gaby Grebski said in a news release. “She is an athlete who wants to improve not just physically but mentally and emotionally. She takes every success and the occasional failure as a learning experience which spurs her to work even harder.”

The senior’s success as a cross-country runner at Sidwell almost never materialized. Knibb wasn’t on the team when she started at Sidwell, but she caught Grebski’s eye when the two ended up finishing a local 5K race neck-and-neck in 2012.

“It was a local turkey trot in ninth grade — I finished right behind my school’s cross-country coach, who is also a guidance counselor, and she eventually convinced me to come out for theteam,” Knibb said in a Novemberinterview with The Current.

Knibb eventually spent her first full year on the team as a junior, capturing both the D.C. State Athletic Association title and the Gatorade award.

During her final year as a Quaker, Knibb once again racked up several medals to cap a stellar high school career. She won her second DCSAA championship, at the same time setting a course record time of 19:32 at Fort Dupont Park. In addition, she captured the Maryland/D.C. Private School title, the Paul Short Run, and gold at the Independent School League championship.

The Gatorade award takes into  account standout athletic performance, but also strong academics and community service work. The senior was well-rounded with an A average in the classroom and volunteer work at a local assisted living facility, according to the release.

While Knibb’s time as a cross-country athlete for Sidwell is over, she continues to participate in the school’s swimming program and won a pair of bronze medals at the Independent School League championship meet on Wednesday evening.