Academy Ambassadors Named Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year

In its 29th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, announced Bailee Dean of Cane Ridge High School as its 2013-2014 Gatorade Tennessee Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year.  Dean is the first Gatorade Tennessee Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Cane Ridge 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 Dean as Tennessee'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 later this month.

The 5-fort-4 junior raced to the Class AAA individual state championship this past season with a time of 18:08.4. The 2013 Tennessean All-Midstate Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Dean was the fastest Tennessee competitor at the 2013 Foot Locker South Regional championship, clocking a 17:51 to cross the line in 23rd place.

Dean has maintained a 3.71 GPA in the classroom. A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Health Occupations  Students of America, she has volunteered locally at an area nursing home and as a junior academy ambassador in the Academy of Health Management.

"Bailee Dean is a unique individual who can amaze you with what she is capable of achieving both academically and athletically," said Cane Ridge High School head coach Corene Minchin. "Her determination for success is among the top one percent of anyone I have ever met, yet she is still humble."

Dean will begin her senior year of high school this fall.