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TFS cross country finishes season at state meet
On Saturday, Nov. 2, the TFS varsity boys and girls cross country competed in the GHSA Private-A state meet in Carrollton. The boys’ team placed ninth out of the 16 teams, while the Lady Indians finished 12th. The Tribe qualified for the state meet by earning fourth in both the boys and girls’ races in the regional meet on Oct. 24, earning the boys’ team a spot in the state meet for the first time since 1990 with the girls’ team qualifying for state for the first time ever.
The boys’ team, led by sophomore Evan Prince of Demorest, captured ninth place behind two top 15 finishers. Prince placed fifth while senior Chris Geiger of Sautee Nacoochee came in 14th of 117 harriers. Prince, with his top five finish, earned All-State honors, and 51st of 1463 runner across all classifications. Junior captain Colin Kelly of Demorest finished with a personal-best time for the Indians, placing 90th.
The boys’ team cultivated a little extra motivation after hearing from a TFS alumnus.
“TFS alum Alex Hubbard ‘03, who placed fifth as a junior and then second as a senior at state, and is now an avionics technician with the USAF, wrote heartfelt congratulations and challenged his fellow Tribe torch bearers to shine bright as the light in the mountains,” coach Scott Neal said.
The TFS girls received a similar message from a former member of the Tribe.
“Inspired by ‘18 TFS alum and current University of the South runner Perry Gresham’s letter to each of our state bound girls, the inaugural state qualifying Lady Indians ran strategically stellar and motivated to place 12th as a team,” coach Neal said.
Led by sophomore Lucy Alexander of Sautee Nacoochee, who placed 36th, and senior captain Sophie Alexander of Sautee Nacoochee, 38th, the Lady Indians earned 12th place in their inaugural state meet. Sophie Alexander has been a trailblazer for the Tribe, as she finished her high school career as No. 3 on the TFS Cross Country Legacy List. Two freshmen, Emma Jackson of Clayton and Kate Trotter of Demorest, ran side by side the entire race to cross the line less than a second apart to place 74th and 75th, respectively.
“Each of the TFS girls etched their names in the history books as the first team to qualify for state and had a memorable finish for future generations to emulate and strive to surpass,” Neal said. “Overall, this cross country season was one for the history books at TFS. The odds have been overcome by a GREAT group of runners whose significance will be legendary.”