Seaholm's Audrey Belf named Gatorade Michigan Girls' XC Runner of the Year

Seaholm's Audrey Belf named Gatorade Michigan Girls' XC Runner of the Year

Provided by Gatorade

SEAHOLM HIGH SCHOOL STANDOUT NAMED GATORADE MICHIGAN GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY RUNNER OF THE YEAR

CHICAGO (January 8, 2015) — In its 30th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Audrey Belf of Seaholm High School as its 2014-15 Gatorade Michigan Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. Belf is the first Gatorade Michigan Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Seaholm High School.

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 Belf as Michigan’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, Belf 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-1 senior raced to her second consecutive Division 1 individual state championship this past season with a time of 17:19, leading the Maples to the state title as a team. Belf finished seventh at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in 17:51 and crossed the line in 14th at the Nike Cross Nationals Final, becoming one of only four girls prep runners to earn All-American recognition at both the Foot Locker and NXN national championship races this fall. She also broke the tape at the Spartan Invitational, the Jackson Invitational and the Red Hawk Invitational.

Belf has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. A religious education teacher at her church, she has volunteered locally on behalf of a program that collects unworn socks for needy children.

“Audrey has shown incredible dedication and commitment to the team and to her running,” said Seaholm coach Jeff Devantier. “She’s a great role model for the young athletes around her. She is what being a student-athlete is all about.”

Belf has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in cross country and track and field on scholarship at Georgetown University 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.

Belf joins Gatorade Michigan Girls Cross Country Runners of the Year Kirsten Olling (2013-14, Breckenridge High School), Julia Bos (2012-13, Grand Rapids Christian High School), Erin Finn (2011-12, West Bloomfield High School), Gabrielle Anzalone (2010-11, Grand Blanc High School), Megan Goethals (2009-10 & 2008-09, Rochester), and Katie Haines (2007-08, Rockford) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007.

To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit www.gatorade.com/poy

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