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TFS track & field student-athletes return to Last Chance Invite


Eight track & field athletes from Tallulah Falls School were among 2,300 entries in two divisions from 155 schools from Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi to compete at the Last Chance Indoor Invitational held at the Birmingham, AL CrossPlex on Jan. 25-26.

“It is quite an opportunity for TFS athletes in our quest to have a season of significance, connect with each other, break records and forge memories,” said Athletic Director Scott Neal.

Competing in the A-5A division, TFS student-athletes set two school records. Senior Caleb Griffis of Martin set the TFS indoor record in the shot put (38’ 0) – a near five-foot improvement over last year’s indoor meet – and a personal indoor record in the 400-meter, Neal said.

Sophomore Grey Bourlet of Tallulah Falls blazed over two seconds faster than last year to set a new 400-meter indoor record in 54.06 (11th place), Neal said.

“Bourlet also set a 60-meter hurdle personal record (9.35) to place eighth, vaulted 10’6 to place 13th and ran a PR 2:14.49 in the indoor four-lap race to compete in quite a range of events,” he said.

Senior Ajani McIntosh of Sylva, NC ran a personal best 8.00 in the 60-meter dash and senior Chance Bess of Tampa, FL threw the shot 34’ 1.5”.

Junior Maria Whitson of Alto was only a second off the 800-meter TFS indoor record and also ran the 400-meter and 1600-meter, he said. Senior Madison Ball of Tiger ran indoor best times in the 60-meter and 400-meter, and junior Laurel Smith of Clayton contended in the 400-meter, 800-meter, and 1600-meter. Senior Jenni Gallagher of Clarkesville joined the trio to sprint the 800-meter relay in 2:06.14.

“The four-hour trip, hundreds of heats and flights, lengthy waiting periods and enthralling atmosphere –  including a national No. 3 performance – makes the trip worthwhile by providing distinctly different learning opportunities, emotional souvenirs and performance breakthroughs,” Neal said.

According to Neal, the impressive 4,000-seat Birmingham CrossPlex is the host site for the NCAA indoor track & field championship and has events 90-plus days of their season.

“It is an opportunity for the average as well as the elite to experience competing in a venue that certainly has a wow effect upon entrance,” Neal said.

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