Gatorade's Player of the Year Award

Spartanburg Christian Academy Standout named Gatorade South Carolina Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year


Chicago (January 10, 2013) In its 28th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Logan Morris of Spartanburg Christian Academy as its 2012-2013 Gatorade South Carolina Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year.  Morris is the first Gatorade South Carolina Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Spartanburg Christian Academy.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the racecourse, distinguishes Morris as South Carolina's best high school girl cross country runner.  Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of th Year award to be anounced in January, Morris joins an elite association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Ryan Hall (1999-00, 2000-01, Big Bear HS, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, NY) and Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.).


The 5 foot 4 freshman raced to a fourth consecutive South Carolina Independent Schools Association Class AA individual state championship this past season with a time of 18:34.94, leading the Warriors to the SCISA state title as a team.  In November, Morris won South Carolina's USA Track & Field Cross Country championship youth girls' 4K race in 14:47 and placed 27th at the 2012 FootLocker South Regional championships in 18:05.  She is also the Runner of the Year as named by SCISA and the Spartanburg Herald Journal.  Morris won her first state title as a sixth grader.


Also a track standout, Morris has maintained a 5.25 weighted GPA in the classroom and ranks No. 2 in her graduating class.  A member of her school's chorus and National Beta Club chapter, she has volunteered locally on behalf of her church, an animal shelter, the Special Olympics, the Miracle League Buddy Program for special needs youth and a vacation bible school.  Morris has also donated her time as a camp counselor, a mathematics tutor and as a youth cheerleading instructor in addition to delivering meals to area senior citizens.


"Logan continually redefines what is possible for a runner from a small Christian school," said Spartanburg Christian Academy head coach Steve Conway.  "She won a state title as a sixth grader, was the SCISA Runner of the Year as a seventh grader and attained the No. 1 rank in the state as an eighth-grader. The key to her success is her remarkable faith and her desire to use the sport to honor the Lord.  Even in her first season, she displayed a maturity, focus and work ethnic that matched everyone."


Morris will begin her sophmore year of high school this fall.


The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track and field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport.  The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.


Morris joins Gatorade South Carolina Girls Cross Country Runners of the Year Meredith Kilburn (2011-12, Fort Mill High School), Sinead Haughey (2010-11 & 2009-10, Daniel High School), Tameka Jackson (2008-09, Seneca) and Mary Kate DuBard (2007-08, Northwestern) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007.


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