MISSOULA, Mont. - It really isn't up for debate who the best girls cross country runner is in Montana, but Bigfork's Makena Morley has once again officially received that honor this year.
Wednesday Morley was named Gatorade girls cross country runner of the year and now becomes just the 2nd female runner to ever earn the honor three times in Montana.
Of course Morley will be the favorite to win the award again next year as a senior, which would be a record 4th consecutive year.
This past season Morley broke meet records at the Mountain West Classic as well as at the state meet where she won a third straight class 'B' title. Her state time of 16:35 shattered the previous all-class record of 16:50 (set by Flathead High's Zoe Nelson in 2002).
After the Montana high school season concluded, Morley went on to win the Foot Locker Western Regionals and then placed eighth (earning All-American status for the second time in her career) at the National Championships the following week.
The Gatorade Honor also takes into account athletes' performance in the classroom and the community. Morley maintains a 4.0 GPA at Bigfork High while also volunteering as part of multiple community-service initiatives on behalf of a leadership course and donating her time to her team's annual summer fun run and as a youth athletic instructor.