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A blog about sports in Montana, with an emphasis on Flathead Valley High Schools.
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Morley Claims Third Consecutive Gatorade Cross Country Award
Bigfork junior recognized as the state’s best cross country runner
Makena Morley. Lido Vizzutti | Flathead Beacon
Makena Morley has claimed her third consecutive Gatorade Montana Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year award. The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, announced the 2013-2014 award on Wednesday.

Not surprisingly, the Bigfork junior earned the formal distinction as the best cross country runner in Montana yet again. Morley captured eighth place at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships with a time of 17:43 this past season, earning All-American honors. She won the Foot Locker West Regional championships in 18:05 in addition to placing second at the Nike Cross Nationals Northwest Regional in 17:36. She also won a third consecutive Class B individual state championship with an all-state record time of 16:35.31.

“She is the best female runner in Montana,” Paul Jorgensen, Flathead High’s hall of fame distance running coach, said in a statement with the award announcement.

“She set course records on most courses she ran on in Montana. Morley also made it to the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships again and did well. Plus, she is a great kid who always has a smile on her face.”

Morley is Montana’s second female runner to win the Gatorade cross country award three times. Heidi Turner of Bozeman won the award from 2007-2009. The award was established for cross country in 2007.

The Gatorade award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the racecourse.

Morley has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom and ranks first in her graduating class, according to the announcement. In addition to volunteering as part of multiple community-service initiatives on behalf of a leadership course, she has donated her time to her team’s annual summer fun run and as a youth athletic instructor.
 
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