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Season Recap: Track & Field
No one event makes or breaks an entire season for a program, yet it does encapsulate the hard work and dedication put in. The girls 4x400 relay team won the GHSA State Championship in Rome, marking the first relay group in TFS history to do so. That was part of the stellar effort the track and field teams had this season.
The Lady Indians placed fifth at the Region Championships, and followed it up with a 10th-place finished at the state meet, their best finish since a 5th-place finish in 2018. The Indians, meanwhile, were third at Region and finished 25th at state.
In the process of the season, TFS broke school records in the boys discus (Sam Ketch), boys 4x200 relay, girls 800 (Molly Mitchell), girls high jump (Julianne Shirley), and girls 4x400 relay. Ketch broke a 10-year-old record with a 151-6 throw in the discus at state, placing him 3rd overall. Shirley's 5'1 broke the high jump mark, and Mitchell's 2:30.14 set a new record in the 800. The boys relay record-breaking group broke their own record from the previous season - Nana Amankwah, Blair Moore, Nnamdi Ezunu, and Tyler Brown. That quartet set the mark in the region meet. The girls 4x4 relay set the record in their state championship run, and consisted of Dani Prince, Sofia Rueda, Molly Mitchell, and Julianne Shirley.
At region, Ketch (discus), Ade Akisanya (shot put), Shirley (400), and the girls 4x400 relay all earned region titles. Those who earned runner-up honors included Walker Bailey (3200), Brown (300 MH), Shirley (200), and Mitchell (400). In total, Tallulah Falls qualified for sectionals in 18 events. Of those, 15 events qualified for state. Ketch (discus) and Shirley (400), as well as that girls 4x4 all won their sectional events.
At state, those who placed top-10 included Ketch (3rd in discus), Shirley (3rd in 400; 5th in high jump), Jace Ibemere (5th in triple jump), girls 4x800 relay (7th), Walker Bailey (9th in 1600), and the girls 4x400 championship relay. Sara Bailey was instrumental in the championship relay team, as she stepped in for Mitchell in the prelims run, and put up a great time, in order to give Mitchell a break after running the 400 and 800 prelims in the same day.
With nearly all of the state qualifiers back for another run in 2024, the future remains bright for this program.