For a complete list of Gatorade State Cross Country ROYs, click here.
THE WINNER: Makena Morley
School: Bigfork (Mont.)
Position: Distance runner
Athletic achievement: She captured eighth place at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships with a time of 17:43 this past season, earning All-American honors. The state’s two-time returning Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Morley won the Foot Locker West Regional championships in 18:05.7 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 a meet-record time of 16:35.31.
Academic excellence: Morley has maintained a 4.00 GPA and ranks No. 1 in her graduating class.
Exemplary character: 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.
“She is the best female runner in Montana,” said Paul Jorgensen, head coach of rival Flathead (Kalispell, Mont.). “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.”
THE FUTURE: Morley will be a senior this fall.