TFS sophomore runner closing in on school, course records
On Tuesday, Sept. 10, Tallulah Falls School hosted the 15th Annual Cookies ‘n Quotes Cross Country Festival. This race brought teams and throngs of fans from 19 schools to the beautiful campus and course of TFS.
Senior team leader Sarah Edwards of Sautee Nacoochee and fellow senior Maria Whitson of Alto coordinated over 1800 baked cookies and quotes delivered to 25 teams. Three cookies each in a decorated bag were given with the name of the runner, coach or manager displayed. Individual champions received a combo hat/tee from Tallulah Point Overlook and the victorious teams were rewarded with a large cookie cake and a large inspirational quote. Festive music, volunteers galore, an incredible venue, and hundreds of cheering fans supported over 500 harriers hastening up and down the hills of the TFS farm land, where former students would raise cows, work the farm and create a legacy of toughness.
Senior Captain Sophie Alexander of Sautee Nacoochee led The TFS girls’ varsity squad with runner-up honors among 12 scoring schools, running a personal course record of 23:09.60, and earning fifth individually. Only 10 places back, sophomore Lucy Alexander of Sautee Nacoochee ran within a second of her course best. Two freshmen, Kate Trotter of Demorest (25th) and Emma Jackson of Clayton (26th), were three seconds apart, while sophomore Macy Murdock of Carnesville outsprinted Whitson to the finish line to capture 29th place.
Runner-up and sophomore Evan Prince of Demorest ran the 5k course in 17:26.73 to jump to the No. 4 spot on the course Legacy List, and finished only 41 seconds behind course record-setting senior state champion Graham Blanks of Athens Academy. Junior Grey Bourlet of Tallulah Falls bettered his course personal best by seven seconds to place 15th. Freshman Zhigao Henry Xiong of China (21:11.40) ran onto the course Legacy List, while junior Collin Kelly of Demorest was the fourth TFS runner to finish. Junior Kale Corbett of Lakemont and junior Chathan Clouatre of Toccoa placed in the top half of varsity runners. Bourlet, Kelly, and Corbett all ran season bests.
TFS JV boys placed second of nine scoring schools. The Indians were led by senior David Cheng of China, junior Eli Sims of Clarkesville, junior Chaz Mullis of Sautee Nacoochee, sophomore Ethan Wanner of Toccoa, and sophomore Junyi Rick He of China.
Eighth-grader Jenna Chesser of Cleveland placed second individually in the middle school girls’ race, and led the TFS girls to third place of nine schools and 60+ runners, racing the 3k upper course in 13:21.32. Seventh-grader Josie Chesser of Cleveland placed eighth while seventh-grader Haygen James of Demorest (12th), seventh-grader Maggie Shelton of Cornelia (17th), and eighth-grader Dani Prince of Demorest (34th) scored for TFS. Sixth-grader Carsyn Griffis of Tallulah Falls continued her tenacious running, while sixth-grader Jasmyn Marshall of Lakemont and seventh-grader Mallory Higgins of Cornelia ran their best races of the season.
Top middle school boys included eighth-grader Blair Moore of Demorest (20th) and seventh-grader QianFeng William Xu of China (23rd). Eighth-grader Henry Rickman of Tiger and seventh-grader Timothy Beck of Clayton both met their TFS 3k course goals, as did sixth-grader Dalton Geltz of Cleveland and sixth-grader Charlie Harris Toccoa.