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More accolades for Bellmont standout runner Bailey Beery continue to roll in despite the fact cross country season ended three months ago and track season is about two months away.
Beery learned last Sunday evening at the annual Fort Wayne Track Club banquet held at the Hotel Fort Wayne that she was the recipient of the Chris Brown Outstanding High School Female Distance Runner Award a feat that Bellmont cross country and track coach Carl Risch called "a really big deal."
The FWTC sponsors races in the Fort Wayne area and strongly supports and promotes youth running according to Risch and they selected six male and female athletes to be considered for their award. The process whittled the list down to three with the winner being announced Sunday night.
One of the unusual aspects of Beery's award is the fact that she is only a sophomore at Bellmont and both of the other runners being considered for the award were seniors, one of whom, Samantha Roush of Columbia City, is going to Indiana University on an athletic scholarship. The other finalist was Marina Konow of Concordia.
"The award usually goes to a senior but they obviously felt Bailey was the most deserving runner. They had video interviews with all three finalists that were shown at the dinner which was a neat event because Bart Yasso of Runner's World magazine was the main speaker. The banquet has always brought in top speakers and this year was no exception," Risch noted.
Yasso refers to himself as the CRO (chief running officer) of Runner's World, which is a national publication devoted to fitness and competitive running.
The other big honor that has been bestowed upon Beery was the title of "3A Runner of the Year" and membership to the First Team All-State of the Indiana Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches (IATCCC). Indiana does not recognize cross country as a class sport but the IATCCC breaks down its annual awards according to the class that a school belongs to in basketball.
The only other first team members on the 3A IATCCC list from northeast Indiana were Konow and Leo freshman harrier Lindsey Marriott.
Risch said that Beery, the daughter of Tim and Cindy Beery of Decatur, is "an outstanding, amazing young lady. She is a very coachable runner and she responds well to her training. Her mental toughness is probably one of her best strengths as a runner and her dedicated training in running a lot during the off season makes her a great runner."