For a list of the other Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Bridget Blake
School: Dr. Phillips High (Orlando, Fla.)
Athletic achievement: She raced to her third consecutive Class 4A individual state championship this past season with a time of 17:53. Blake took sixth at the Foot Locker South Regional championships, in 17:12, and finished 15th nationally at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships, earning All-American honors.
Academic excellence: Blake has maintained a 4.32 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A devoted member of the Fellowship of Christian athletes, she has volunteered locally on behalf of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
“She won the state meet easily and wasn’t pushed at all,” said Kristin McWilliams, head coach at rival Winter Park (Fla.). “I’ve coached against her for four years and I think she’s a great ambassador for the sport. She shows fantastic sportsmanship towards other athletes, and she’s a great role model.”
THE FUTURE: Blake has verbally committed to an athletic scholarship at Florida State University beginning this fall.