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Season Recap: Track & Field


The track and field team had solid anchors in seniors Sam Ketch and Julianne Shirley. That duo were a near lock to get the team major points throughout the season in every meet, especially at state. Beyond that, standouts such as Jace Ibemere, Teagan Penland, Ade Akisanya, Makhi Edgecombe, and Molly Mitchell would be heavy contributors.

Tallulah Falls navigated a difficult regular season, battling adversity in the weather and injuries. However, both teams fared well at the Region Championships, where the Indians earned a trophy with a Runner-Up finish. That marked the best finish for the boys since the Region Championship season in 2021. The girls came in 5th for a third time in the last four years.

At the 8-A DI Championships, Shirley and Ketch both won a pair of titles, as the former won in the High Jump and 400, while the latter won the Shot Put and Discus. Akisanya was Region Runner-Up in Shot Put, while Penland was Runner-Up in both the 800 and 3200. The Lady Indians 4x400 Relay group of Dani Prince, Joanna Miller, Mitchell, and Shirley won the region title as well, and the 4x200 Relay was Runner-Up (Prince, Ibemere, Miller, Shirley). All told, the Lady Indians qualified eight individuals or relay events to sectionals, while the Indians qualified in 13.

At sectionals, the Lady Indians had six state qualifications including Shirley in the High Jump and 400 and Ibemere in the Triple Jump. The girls had a few relay teams get through. The boys meanwhile had qualifications for Ketch and Akisanya in both the Shot Put and Discus, and Penland in the 1600. 

At the biggest stage, Ketch and Shirley shined. Ketch was the State Runner-Up in Discus with a school record 162-10, and finished 3rd in Shot Put (48-3). Akisanya was 5th in Shot Put and 6th in Discus, and Penland came in 13th in the 1600. Shirley led the girls with a 3rd-place finish in the High Jump, while Ibemere was 7th in the Triple Jump. The 4x200 Relay for the girls came in 8th. The Indians were 12th overall while the Lady Indians came in 22nd.

While several athletes set new personal records, Ketch broke his own school record in the discus four times this season, with the new mark standing at 162-10 in his State Runner-Up throw. The girls 4x100 relay team (Prince, Ibemere, Joanna Asea Molodynska, Miller) set a new school record with a 50.72 time.

The program will see Shirley, Prince, and Mitchell graduate for the girls, and Ketch, Edgecombe, Nnamdi Ezunu, CJ Augustine, and Blair Moore for the boys. 

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