The leader of the pack, Leah Futey (800) took the lead early in the Class 5A race at Albuquerque Academy in November and never relinquished it. (Herron photo)


Cleveland High School’s Leah Futey has been named today by Gatorade as its 2022 Cross Country Player of the Year in New Mexico.

Futey, the state champ last fall, also won the award in 2019.

Previously, CHS’s Malia Gonzales won the award in 2012; Amanda Mayoral was a three-time (2015-17); male standout Luis Martinez was a two-timer (2011-12) and also the winner of back-to-back track awards (2012-13).

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Futey as New Mexico’s best high school girls cross country player.

She is a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Player of the Year award to be announced this month.

The 5-foot-10 senior raced to the Class 5A individual state championship with a time of 18:17.41, leading the Storm to the state title as a team. Futey won seven races, including the New Mexico All-Star meet, the Los Alamos Invitational, the Rio Rancho Jamboree and the Albuquerque Public Schools Metro Championships. She also finished ninth in the 5K Sweepstakes race at the prestigious Desert Twilight Festival in Arizona.

Futey has a sister, Elle, with special needs and has volunteered locally on behalf of multiple Special Olympic events, most recently the Unified Marathon team. She has also donated her time at USATF New Mexico events in addition to participating in community service initiatives in association with her church youth group.

Futey has maintained an A-minus average in the classroom, and signed a National Letter of Intent to run on scholarship at Syracuse University this fall.