In its 29th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Kathryn Foreman of Landmark Christian School as its 2013-14 Gatorade Georgia Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. Foreman is the first Gatorade Georgia Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Landmark Christian School. She is a native of Lithia Springs, Ga.

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 Foreman as Georgia’s best high school girls cross country runner. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year award to be announced in January, Foreman joins an elite alumni 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, N.Y.) and Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.).

The 5-foot-3 sophomore distance runner won a second consecutive Class A private schools individual state championship this past season with a time of 18:42.18. Also the Runner of the Year as named by the Atlanta Track Club, Foreman placed eighth at the Foot Locker South Regional championships in 17:19, and then finished 32nd at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in 18:35. She concluded the season unbeaten against Georgia competition.

Foreman has maintained a 4.21 weighted GPA in the classroom. A member of her choir, the National Beta Club, Key Club International and multiple peer-leadership groups at her school, she has volunteered locally on behalf of her church, an assisted living facility, the Atlanta Track Club and the City of Refuge shelter. Foreman has also visited Honduras on a service-mission trip.

“It is amazing how much she has accomplished in the short period of time that she has been running, but she is the epitome of a distance running champion,” said Shelly Cranford, head coach of rival Bleckley County High. “She is very dedicated to what she does, and it shows by what she has accomplished this year. She is not only the best cross-country runner in Georgia, but she is also one of the best cross country runners in the entire nation.”

Foreman will begin her junior 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 & 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.

Foreman joins Gatorade Georgia Girls Cross Country Runners of the Year Allie Buchalski (2012-13, Johns Creek High School), Grace Tinkey (2011-12 & 2010-11, First Presbyterian Day School), Nicky Akande (2009-10, Collins Hill), Amanda Winslow (2008-09, Collins Hill), and Emily Reese (2007-08, Chamblee) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007.

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