Cross country: McCormick named Gatorade state runner of the year, Gee earns national honor

Wilton High cross country standout Morgan McCormick and WHS girls cross country coach Jeff Gee both received prestigious national honors this week.

McCormick, a junior, was named the 2016-17 Gatorade Connecticut Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. She is the first Wilton girls cross country runner to win the award. She is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year award.

The Gatorade State Player of the Year award was established in 1985 to recognize the nation’s most outstanding high school student-athletes for their athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character.

Spencer Brown of Wilton was the Gatorade Connecticut Boys Track & Field Player of the Year in 2014-25.

McCormick, in only her second season of running cross country, turned in the greatest season ever for a Wilton cross country runner. She was the first Warrior to ever sweep the FCIAC, Class L, and State Open championships,  becoming the school's first State Open cross country champ. She finished 21st at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional championships.

Jeff Gee

WHS head coach Jeff Gee was named one of eight finalists for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association national coach of the year in girls cross country.

Gee was selected for the national honor by Connecticut’s High School Coaches Association. He was then selected as the nominee from District I comprised of the New England states and New York. The selection was based on longevity, service to high school athletics, honors, championship years, and winning percentage.

This is the second time in the past eight years that Gee has been one of the eight finalists for national coach of the year honors.

Gee recently completed his 29th season as head coach of the girls cross country team. The Wilton girls have placed top three at the FCIAC championships in 24 of the past 28 seasons, including eight FCIAC titles (1990-94, 2002, ‘08,and ’10) and seven FCIAC second-place finishes.

Since the 1989 season, Wilton teams under Gee have earned a 385-50 record in dual meets, including nine undefeated seasons and 15 FCIAC East Division titles.

On the state level, the Wilton cross country girls have finished first or second at the class meet 20 times in 28 years, with four Class MM titles (1991, ’93, ’94, ’02) and four Class L titles (2009, 2011-13). They have won three State Open titles (1990, 1991 and 1992) and two State Open second-place finishes, and two second-place finishes at the New England Cross Country Championships.

The National High School Athletic Coaches Association is the oldest coaches association in the nation formed by coaches, for coaches, and has been recognizing national coaches of the year since 1978.