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Gatorade® National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year: Alexa Efraimson

  Gatorade® National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year: Alexa Efraimson

Professional Distance Runner Molly Huddle Surprises Standout with Elite Honor

PR Newswire

CAMAS, Wash., Feb. 27, 2014

CAMAS, Wash., Feb. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In its 29^th year of honoring the
nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration
with USA TODAY High School Sports, recently announced Alexa Efraimson of Camas
High School (Camas, Wash.) as its 2013-14 Gatorade National Girls Cross
Country Runner of the Year. Efraimson was surprised with the news at school by
American record holder in the 5,000 meters and nine time All-American Molly
Huddle.

"It was exciting for me to be able to surprise Alexa with the Gatorade
National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year award because she is such a
deserving winner," said Huddle. "Alexa is a well-rounded individual who has
already accomplished so much on and off the course, so it's an honor for me to
welcome her into the prestigious Gatorade Player of the Year family."

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also
high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on
and off the course, distinguishes Efraimson as the nation's best high school
girls cross country runner. A national advisory panel comprised of
sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Efraimson from
nearly 215,000 high school girls cross country runners nationwide. Efraimson
is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Female High School Athlete of
the Year award, to be presented at a special evening ceremony prior to The
ESPY Awards in July.

The 5-foot-8 junior raced to the national title at the Nike Cross Nationals
Final this past season, breaking the tape with a course-record time of
16:50.1. The 2012-13 Gatorade Washington Girls Track and Field Athlete of the
Year, Efraimson also captured the Class 4A individual state cross country
championship with a course-record time of 17:01.1, leading the Papermakers to
second place as a team. She also won the Nike Pre-Nationals, the Nike
BorderClash and the Bill Dellinger Invitational, and finished first at the NXN
Northwest Regional championships in 17:27.1.

Efraimson has maintained a 3.88 GPA in the classroom. A member of DECA and the
National Honor Society, Efraimson has volunteered locally as a youth soccer
referee and has served meals to the needy at the Zion Lutheran Church's Lost
and Found Cafe.

"In a state that has produced some extraordinary distance runners over the
past decade, Alexa seems to be the best of them all," said Doug Binder,
Editor-in-Chief of Dyestat.com. "She has tremendous physical ability and
combines that with fierce competitive instincts. She came into the cross
country season fresh off a bronze medal performance in the 1,500 meters at the
World Youth Championships in the Ukraine and that result gave her a lot of
confidence. After that, I think we all believed she was capable of doing
anything she set her mind to."

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

"Without question, Alexa is deserving of recognition as the nation's best high
school girls cross country runner based on her statistics on the course and
the impact her accomplishments have had on Camas' success," said Gatorade Vice
President, Global & Sports Marketing Andrea Fairchild. "But she is also a
shining example to peers and aspiring young athletes of what a leader and a
student-athlete should be. She represents everything we hope for in a
Gatorade Player of the Year recipient."

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 USA TODAY High School Sports  and the
Gatorade high school sports leadership team, 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.

Former notable Gatorade National Players of the Year include:

  oSuper Bowl Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning
  oFour-time gold medalist Allyson Felix
  oWNBA all-time leading scorer and rebounder Lisa Leslie
  oKansas City Royals Cy Young award-winner Zach Grienke

For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including
nomination information, a complete list of former winners, and future
announcement dates, visit the Gatorade Player of the Year Web site at
http://playeroftheyear.gatorade.com, on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/GatoradePOYor follow us on Twitter at
www.twitter.com/Gatorade.

ALL-TIME GATORADE NATIONAL GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY RUNNERS OF THE YEAR
YEAR    NAME            HIGH SCHOOL                        STATUS
                        Camas High School/Camas, WA        High School Junior
2013-14 Alexa Efraimson
                        Simi Valley High School/Simi       High School Senior
2012-13 Sarah Baxter    Valley, CA
                                                           University of Notre
2011-12 Molly Seidel    University Lake School/Hartland,   Dame
                        WI
2010-11 Aisling Cuffe                                      Stanford University
                        Cornwall Central/New Windsor, NY
2009-10 Megan Goethals                                     University of
                        Rochester/Rochester Hills, MI      Washington
2008-09 Jordan Hasay    Mission College Prep/San Luis      Nike Oregon Project
                        Obispo, CA
2007-08 Ashley Brasovan                                    Duke University
                        Wellington/Wellington, FL          graduate

About Gatorade
The Gatorade Company, a division of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), provides sports
performance innovations designed to meet the needs of athletes at all
competitive levels and across a broad range of sports. Gatorade Thirst
Quencher® is backed by more than 40 years of research and is scientifically
formulated and athletically proven to quench thirst, replace fluids and
electrolytes, and provide carbohydrate energy to enhance athletic performance.
The company's product portfolio is built around the G Series™, a 1-2-3
approach to athlete nutrition and hydration before (Gatorade Prime 01™),
during (Gatorade® Perform 02 and G2® Perform 02), and after (Gatorade Recover
03™) training or competition. For more information, please visit
www.gatorade.com.

About PepsiCo
PepsiCo offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and
beverage brands, including 18 different product lines that each generate more
than $1 billion in annual retail sales. Our main businesses – Frito-Lay,
Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade – also make hundreds of other
nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in over 200
countries. With more than $43 billion in 2008 revenues, PepsiCo employs
198,000 people who are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth,
called Performance with Purpose. By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad
array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our
environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture,
PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities
worldwide. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.

About USA TODAY Sports Media Group
The USA TODAY Sports Media Group encompasses all sports initiatives across USA
TODAY Sports and Gannett's more than 100 well-known local media brands. It
also includes the sports photography wire service USA TODAY Sports Images, USA
TODAY High School Sports and the hundreds of sites within USA TODAY Sports
Digital Properties such as thebiglead.com and mixed martial arts site
MMAjunkie.com, among others. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:
GCI).

SOURCE Gatorade

Website: http://www.gatorade.com
Contact: Jason Belenke, (312-729-3631)
 
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