For the third consecutive year, Abby Faith Cheeseman, a junior at The Webb School, was named 2022-2023 Gatorade Tennessee Girls Cross Country Player of the Year. In its 39th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade made the announcement Jan. 22.
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 Cheeseman as Tennessee’s best high school girls cross country player. She is now a finalist for the Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Player of the Year award also to be announced this month.
The 5-foot junior took second at the Foot Locker South Region championships this past season, qualifying her for Foot Locker nationals, where she earned Third Team All-America honors by crossing the line in 13th. Also victorious in the Race of Champions at the Great American Cross Country Festival, she sparked her team to the title at TSSAA Division 2-Class A state meet this past season, breaking the tape with an all-class best time of 16:44.1. Now a three-time Gatorade State Player of the Year, she will be Tennessee’s top returning finisher at a national meet when the 2024 campaign commences.
A member of her school’s Honors Orchestra, Cheeseman has also sung the national anthem at track and field meets, football games and the Tennessee Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Conference. She has volunteered locally on behalf of the Trinity Presbyterian Church and as a Webb Student Ambassador, providing tours for prospective families. “Abby Faith Cheeseman authored one of the greatest seasons in Tennessee prep cross country history enroute to her fourth consecutive individual state championship,” said Rich Gonzalez of PrepCalTrack. “She also led The Webb School program to its first state team championship in the sport.”
Cheeseman has maintained a 4.52 GPA in the classroom. She will begin her senior 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.