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CHICAGO -- Bigfork High School freshman Makena Morley has been named the Gatorade cross country athlete of the year for the 2011-12 school year.

Morley won the Class B girls race at the state cross country meet last fall, clocking a winning time of 17:44.32. She also finished third in the Foot Locker West Regional meet (18:07) and ninth in the Foot Locker National Championships (17:39.1).

"Makena has a great work ethic, mental and physical toughness, and an unbelievable mindset for each race," said Bigfork coach Susan Loeffler. "She runs to win every race, so she knows she has competed the best she can when the race is over, and she's confident in her ability."

Caroline Hardin of Bozeman won the award last year. Prior to that, Bozeman's Heidi Turner won it three straight years.

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