For a list of the other Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Barbara Lee Ball
School: Lipscomb Academy (Nashville, Tenn.)
Athletic achievement: She raced to the Class A-AA individual state championship this past season with a time of 18:41.83. The 2012 Tennessean All-Midstate Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Ball was the state’s fastest competitor at the Nike Cross Nationals Southeast Regional championships, crossing the line in 18:16.0 to earn 19th place.
Academic excellence: Ball has maintained a 4.0 GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society, she has volunteered at a nursing home and homeless shelter. She also completed a pair of mission trips to Honduras.
“Barbara Lee Ball is an awesome runner and she has made tremendous improvement the last two years,” said Glen Gattis, head coach at Macon County (Lafayette, Tenn.). “She was a great runner two years ago, but she’s even stronger and more determined now.”
THE FUTURE: Ball has verbally committed to Lipscomb University.