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Claire Rutherford of Bozeman Gallatin wins state's Gatorade cross country honor

Posted at 1:11 PM, Jan 24, 2023

BOZEMAN — Bozeman Gallatin sophomore Claire Rutherford on Monday was named the Gatorade Montana girls cross country athlete of the year.

Rutherford raced to the Class AA individual state championship this past season with a time of 18:31.04, leading the Raptors to third place as a team. Rutherford also won the Bozeman Invitational, Butte High Invitational and Cottonwood Invitational, in addition to taking third at the Billings Invitational and placing sixth at the Mountain West Classic. She finished 10th at the Nike Northwest Regional Championships in Idaho.

Rutherford is a member of Future Health Professionals club, a student-led organization with the mission to promote career opportunities in the health industry and enhance the delivery of quality health care.

“Claire Rutherford benefited from several early season tests that provided valuable experience during the second half of the season, then demonstrated her growth by elevating from a 38th-place finish last year at the state final to capture the Class AA title,” Erik Boal, an editor for, stated in a press release. “She used that momentum to finish in the top 10 at the Nike Northwest Regional, another great building block for her future success.”

Rutherford has maintained a 4.00 GPA in the classroom. She will begin her junior year of high school this fall.

The Gatorade award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field.