Over 3200 legs from more than 42 middle and high schools trampled the grass, gravel paths, and hill at Unicoi State Park in Helen at the Runners Fit Mountain Invite.
It was a festive atmosphere of blaring music, early sunny to later cooler shaded temperatures, and hundreds of fans shouting “let’s go, pick it up, finish strong, good job,” and countless other phrases meant to inspire a wanted change in pace to pass one more runner.
Every TFS harrier zoomed to a season best and nearly all veterans set course personal records. Senior Captain Perry Gresham continued a quiet, invisible pursuit to leave not only a school cross country legacy (she broke her own school record – set on this course two years ago – by running 20:59.1 and placing 23rd of 181), but a leadership legacy as well. Her recent relentless pursuit of fun-filled management of running pain, in addition to being a team role model, has captured the attention of area college coaches.
The Indian varsity boys, led by Chris Geiger, Aaron Hughes, Zac Smith, and freshmen Grey Bourlet and Chathan Clouatre, placed 24th of 33 scoring squads from every classification with an 18:38 time average and 1:16 difference betweens runners #1-5. The goal is to get the later differential to less than a minute. JV boys also finished 24th (of 28 scoring teams). Due to injuries, TFS girls did not have enough varsity racers to score as a team because of splitting JV and varsity runners.
Notable performances were seen in final home stretch kicks from Maria Whitson, Clouatre, and the two Sophies – Burke and Alexander, who both set personal records. Matthew Justice, Ben Griswold, and Hagan Eubank all ran exceptionally well.
TFS results: http://ga.milesplit.com/meets/
All results can be found here: http://ga.milesplit.com/meets/
Next Race: Tuesday, October 17 Harrier Harvest (Senior Day) at the TFS College Farm Course.
Led by champion Colton Hicks, TFS boys placed eight of the top ten finishers among 28 racers to record a perfect cross country score at the Tri State Middle School XC Championships, held at the Tallulah Falls School 3k Farm course, defeating Rabun Gap and Summit Charter. Though the boys were expected to win, the Lady Indians had not beaten Summit Charter in three previous encounters this season. Lucy Alexander, Julianne Shirley, and Sammy Hartman placed third through fifth, respectively, of 27 racers to score 12 points and bring home the victory banner. Every one of the host’s male and female harriers set a personal 3k record to end the season!
Alexander (13th), Shirley (16th), and Hartman (30th) ran fast enough to place in the top 30 of the esteemed TFS Farm Course Legacy List. Also earning a spot in the top 30 of The List, which started with the course’s creation in 2012 and ranks all runners under a certain time, are Hicks (23rd), Shrek Wang (28th), and Ethan Wanner (30th). Brit Shaw set a new TFS sixth grade course record.
The end of season victory banners culminated a trove of memories, including a quadrathlon, Mulch Madness, cookies, quotes, fences, Crows Lake forest, the hill in Dillard, the roots in Cashiers, chess, FitCore circuits, intervals, hills, stairs, heat, biking, gorge rim, Wildlife Management Areas, rowing, the squid, watermelon, hog holes, Goats on the Roof, humidity, Shortline Trail, legs in the river, and daily interactions associated with being a post-millennial GenZ.