The finalists for The Inquirer's South Jersey Senior Female Athlete of the year have a distinctive track background.
Four of the five finalists participated in the sport. The winner will be announced Sunday. Here is a look at the five finalists, in alphabetical order.
Michelle Brown, Seneca. Brown capped a brilliant career by winning the 400-meter championship for the third consecutive year at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions. She also won the 200 and 400 in the Group 3 state championships, was second in the 100, and anchored the second-place 1,600 relay team that clinched the team title. Brown, who was also the indoor track Meet of Champions winner in the 400, has earned a track scholarship to Notre Dame.
Marielle Hall, Haddonfield. During the cross-country season, Hall was the Group 2 state champion and placed third in the Meet of Champions. In spring track, Hall was a double state champion, winning the 800 and 1,600 in Group 2. She placed fourth in the 800 during the Meet of Champions. Hall will attend Texas on a track scholarship.
Chelsea Ley, Kingsway. She was slowed by injuries in the spring, but Ley was among the nation's top distance runners during the cross-country season. Ley won not only the state Group 3 championship in cross country, but also the Meet of Champions title in earning Inquirer South Jersey runner-of-the-year honors. After the season, she placed seventh in the Foot Locker National Cross-Country Championships in San Diego, to earn all-American honors. Ley has earned a cross country/track scholarship to Virginia.
Kelsey Mitchell, Eastern. Among the best field hockey players in South Jersey history, Mitchell was a two-time Inquirer South Jersey player of the year. As a senior, she tied a single-season state record with 69 goals as Eastern was the Tournament of Champions winner for the third time in four years. Mitchell finished with a state-record 171 career goals for an Eastern team that won an 11th straight state title. Mitchell has earned a field hockey scholarship to Iowa.
Genevieve Okoro, Eastern. A three-sport standout, Okoro was The Inquirer's South Jersey basketball player of the year each of the past two seasons. As a senior, she averaged 22.9 points and 12.1 rebounds as Eastern won the South Jersey Group 4 title. She was also among the best volleyball players in South Jersey and led her team with 159 kills. In track, Okoro won the Group 4 state championship in the triple jump, leaping a school-record 39 feet, 3 inches. She will attend Richmond on a basketball scholarship.