Ripley’s Starcher earns another honor from Gatorade

Mark Martin
Sportswriter
Tori Starcher

While her senior season of track and field may have been wiped out due to COVID-19, it’s hard to forget what Tori Starcher did in the past.

The Ripley High graduate and running sensation has been honored once again as the Gatorade West Virginia Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year.

This marks the 35th year Gatorade has honored athletes in all sports across the United States.

It was the third straight year in which Starcher has captured the award..

Her accomplishments in three years of track and field are truly amazing.

She won the individual 800 meters, 1600 meters, and 3200 meters three straight years at the State Meet in Charleston.

In addition, she was the anchor leg for the winning 4x400 meter relay team.

She set state records in the 800 and 1600 while helping the 4x400 team break the old record of nearly 30 years and then break their own a year ago.

Starcher, who will run at the next level for Stanford University, helped Ripley win back-to-back state championships as a sophomore (2018) and junior (2019).

As a freshman, she was a vital cog in leading Ripley to a runner-up finish.

Besides track and field, Starcher was also a standout in cross country.

Injuries hampered her days in that sport, but she was a state champion as a sophomore in 2017.

In 2019, Starcher competed in the prestigious Philadelphia-based Penn Relays and not only won the mile but set the record with a clocking of 4:38.19. The time ranked as the ninth-best in prep history for the event.

Starcher not only excelled as a runner but as a student. She graduated with a weighted 4.35 GPA.

For a second time, Starcher was honored by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association with the Ray McCoy Award, which goes annually to the state's top female running athlete.

With the coronavirus, this year's WVSWA Victory Awards Dinner, where Starcher would have been honored, was cancelled.

She is scheduled to be presented with the award during opening ceremonies of Ripley's Fourth of July celebration.