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Hannah George

Athletics

Senior Nights: Girls’ Varsity Track and Field

May 28, 2020

With the Spring 2020 athletics season disrupted by COVID-19, we are celebrating the athletes of Cary Academy’s Class of 2020 via ‘virtual Senior Nights’ each week. On Senior Night, each player is introduced by their coaches and then given the opportunity to make remarks.

From the coaches

Coach Krista 

To my crazy, lovable, never-a-dull-moment CATF seniors:

It has been an absolute JOY. 

Thank you for the laughs, for inspiring me, and for always making my heart so full. Long live CON!, RAD!, backwards lap, the BELL, K2, shenanigans, girls team tie dye, and the Coach Hall nod. 

Know that the traditions you have set and memories you have made will stay with you long after your time at CA, and will impact you in more ways than you can even imagine. 

I hope you never stop cheering for others, running your own race, working together, having fun and believing in your individuality and uniqueness, and the power that it has to impact a life and change the world. I know each one of you have, for me. 

Believing in you, always!

Coach Bristol

Everyone, we had a short time together this spring. So much potential. So much promise. You all came on board with energy, commitment and an earnest desire to learn and improve. This year started off with a bang and then was interrupted by a virus. This may always be known as “the year that could have been”. But we all face adversities and it’s how we respond to them that we learn about ourselves, learn from these experiences and move forward. The best of luck to all the senior throwers in all of their endeavors. The best in your lives are yet to come.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

— Dr. Seuss

Emma Brown

Emma Brown

Emma Brown

From Coach Hall

Emma Brown, a 2-year track & field athlete, competing in the sprints and jumps, has been an enthusiastic, positive presence on our team. Emma uplifts everything she does with her positive energy, and we were so glad to have her back on the team in 2020! Emma’s parents are Jill and Michael Brown, and she will be attending UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall. 

In her own words

I’m sad that I only had one year and a couple of weeks to participate in track and field! I ran the 100m, 200m, and did the long jump during my sophomore year but took a break my junior year. I was very excited to return this season, my senior season, but unfortunately it wasn’t in the cards.

I want to thank Coach Hall for absolutely everything – from supporting me through my sophomore season to being the best APush teacher 🙂 I’d also like to thank my best friends for finally joining track all at the same time!! We seemed to always be off a season, but Shanelle, Cindy, Mesha, Erin, and Christianna – I wish we could’ve had that final season together. I’d also like to thank my parents, especially my mom, because she came to nearly every meet, even the early ones in the freezing cold!

Victoria Du

Victoria Du

From Coach Hall

Victoria Du, a 4-year Track & Field athlete, competing in the distance events, Victoria has been a team leader for the distance runners and has been a huge part of our girls team culture throughout her years on cross country and tack. Victoria has been a dedicated year-round runner who has worked hard an improved immensely in her four years. Victoria is a key member and personality in our strong senior girls distance group and she will be missed next year! 

Alexandra Ellison

Alexandra Ellison

Alexandra Ellison

From Coach Hall

Alexandra Ellison, a 4-year track & field athlete, competing in the sprints and the middle distance events, Alexandra has been a charismatic team leader and captain. Alexandra has been a top athlete in our girls sprint group, specializing in the 400m, where she has scored at the TISAC and State level. Alexandra has also been a leader with our distance program, running the 800m and cross country, and has been a founding leader of our Indoor Track program. She worked hand in hand with Coach Hall on projects and initiatives throughout her career, becoming an instrumental part of team culture and traditions through her enthusiasm, creativity, and leadership. Alexandra could always be counted on to lead the sprint group, as well as help out the coaching staff in innumerable ways. In her senior year, she assisted our new sprint coach, Coach Staples, get acclimated, and was the star veteran that every coach needs. Alexandra showed her teammates what needed to be done both through her words and through her work ethic on the track. She came prepared to work every day. She’ll be a leader in whatever sphere she finds herself in future. Alexandra’s parents are Anne and Matt Ellison, and she will be attending Georgia Tech in the fall. 

In her own words

CATF has given me something to work towards, something to be proud of, priceless memories with the best people, and the ability to find joy in pushing through pain. Thank you to Coach Hall for having more faith in me than I had in myself, and for the “sermons,” mentorship, and laughs that I’ll truly miss. Thank you to Coach Rod for talking too much in between broken 400s; never stop wearing that Polo Ralph Lauren drip and making 400m runners do the 800. Even though we kind of just met, thank you to Coach Staples for your advice and drills that were already helping me get faster.

I’ll never know if I would’ve gotten my goal times this season, but my proudest CATF achievement is that I have been in every single girls 4×400 relay since I joined the team freshman year (yay conference champs!). Girls- in loving memory of my nonexistent senior season, make sure you ALWAYS step up and chase every opponent down in the 4×4. I leave making caxctf/conrad memes and edits to Xavier and keeping the boys in line to Phoebe. I hope you all cherish every moment of your time on this team! Finally, despite dozens of sketchy recruitment messages from tiny collegiate programs and community colleges, I’ll be going to school in Atlanta at Georgia Tech. Go chargers and go Jackets!

Hannah George

Hannah George

Hannah George

From Coach Hall

Hannah George, a 4-year track & field athlete, competing in the distance events, and a team captain, Hannah has been a top athlete and key leader for the track and cross country programs for the past four years. Scoring at the TISAC and State level in cross country and track, Hannah was the 2019 State Runner-up in the 1600m. Hannah is known for her toughness, determination, and competitive fire, and has shown great focus and resilience over her career. She has been a great leader for our younger distance runners and athletes. A person of impeccable character, Hannah has been a great role model and a key member of our team. Hannah’s team leadership includes contributing to four consecutive TISAC Track & Field Championships, two TISAC Cross Country Championships, one Cross Country State Championship, and three Cross Country State Runner-up finishes. Hannah’s parents are Jenn and Troy George, and she will be attending Wake Forest in the fall. 

In her own words

First, I want to thank my parents for coming to every possible meet throughout my high school running career, for listening to my complaints about what hurts that day and for pushing me to be the best athlete and person I can be. I would also like to thank Coach Krista for being a constant encouragement and Coach Hall for being the best running partner and coach I could ask for. 

Although my senior season was cut short, I am  gateful for the growth, friendships, and joy this team has brought me. I have so many favorite memories– it is impossible to pick just one… though,I have to say scarfing down pumpkin bread with my gals after a race or the girls team sleepovers/zoom calls are pretty high up on the list. 

I am attending Wake Forest in the fall to pursue a major in Biology and German.  I’ll be pretty close, so I’m excited about coming back to cheer on the team next year! Good luck, guys!

Shanelle Jayawickreme

Shanelle Jayawickreme

From Coach Hall

Shanelle Jayawickreme, a first-year track & field athlete, competing in the sprints and hurdles, turned in her dancing shoes for track spikes and hurdles. She attacked the hurdles head on with little fear and gave everything she had. We enjoyed Shanelle’s positive presence on the team which added a lot even in the short time she was with the program. 

Ava Lathan

Ava Lathan

Ava Lathan

From Coach Hall

Ava Lathan, a 4-year track & field athlete, competing in the distance events, has been a multi-time All-Conference and All-State runner in cross country and has contributed a great deal to the girls track team. Ava was the 2017 State Runner-up in cross country and has been a top distance runner with the track team. She has been a key part of our girls team culture and our successful girls distance program over the past four years. Ava’s team leadership includes contributing to four consecutive TISAC Track & Field Championships, two TISAC Cross Country Championships, one Cross Country State Championship, and three Cross Country State Runner-up finishes.

In her own words

I want to start by thanking Coach Hall for everything he has put into cross country and track throughout the years. I also want to thank Coach Fenton for a great three years of track and for making running so much fun! Most of all, I owe a big thank you to my teammates for a great four years on Cross Country and Track. Thank you to the senior squad—Hannah, Keely, Victoria, Lia, and Alexandra—for great friendships and unforgettable memories. However, the track team would not have been complete without our amazing juniors (Thuc and Phoebe), the one and only Hannah Claire, and the best group of freshmen ever (Elise, Jenna, Bela, Ella, and Priyanka). 

I leave the team leadership in the hands of Thuc and Phoebe. To the younger members of the team, I wish you the very best in the next couple of years, and I can’t wait to see what you all accomplish!

Lia Lathan

Lia Lathan

From Coach Hall

Lia Lathan, a 4-year track & field athlete, competing in the distance events, and a team captain, has been a multi-time All-State athlete in cross country and has been a top runner in our girls track distance program. Lia has been a team leader and captain and has played an instrumental role in bringing our girls team together and developing our girls distance group’s strong team culture. Lia and Ava frequently hosted girls distance team get-togethers that became a staple of the close bond within the girls distance group. Lia’s team leadership includes contributing to four consecutive TISAC Track & Field Championships, two TISAC Cross Country Championships, one Cross Country State Championship, and three Cross Country State Runner-up finishes.

In her own words

I want to thank Coach Hall for the tremendous hard work and dedication that he put in both indoor and outdoor track practices prior to the quarantine. While I am sad that the season was cut short, I was able to capture many final CA track memories these last few weeks. 

I cannot thank Coach Hall enough for making my CA running experience (both XC and track) the most fun and meaningful time of my life. I also want to thank Coach Fenton for being an exceptional distance coach. 

Whether in track or cross country, the strong girls’ team culture has been one of the most important aspects of the team. To Thuc and Phoebe, l leave the team spirit: keep having fun, keep being goofy, and don’t slack on the traditions (team dinners, etc.)! To all my freshies (who are nearly sophomores now), keep working hard-you are a fantastic group, and I can’t wait to see the amazing things you accomplish in the coming years! 

I am looking forward to getting involved with the running club/intramural team at Chapel Hill as a freshman this fall!

Cindy Li

Cindy Li

From Coach Hall

Cindy Li, a first-year track & field athlete, competing in the throws, Cindy was the captain of our women’s throwers. Even though Cindy never threw shot or discus before this year, she came on like a storm. She demonstrated great enthusiasm, a positive, can-do attitude, leadership, and was a good role model and example to others. She was fun and always acted like she was having fun. She wanted so much to throw correctly and far. It was a pleasure getting to know her and working with her. She will do well in all her future endeavors. 

Mesha Mumford

Mesha Mumford

Mesha Mumford

From Coach Hall

Mesha Mumford, a 2-year track & field athlete, competing in the sprints and throws, has been a top thrower for our program. We were excited to have Mesha back on our team in 2020, as she is one of the top throwers in the TISAC conference. Mesha has great physical strength and her shot put throws were the farthest on the women’s team. She was always serious about improving herself, committed to excellence, and she enjoyed the challenge. Mesha was a pleasure to work with. When she puts her mind to something, she can achieve anything.

Keely Murphy

Keely Murphy

Keely Murphy

From Coach Hall

Keely Murphy, a 4-year track & field athlete, competing in the distance events, and a team captain, has been a multi-time All-TISAC and a 2018 All-State athlete in cross country, and has contributed as one of our star distance runners on the track team over the past four years. Keely’s dedication, determination, toughness, and commitment to the team and her teammates has helped maintain the strong and successful team culture on the girls track & field team and girls cross country team for the past four years. Keely’s team leadership includes contributing to four consecutive TISAC Track & Field Championships, two TISAC Cross Country Championships, one Cross Country State Championship, and three Cross Country State Runner-up finishes. 

In her own words

No words can express my disappointment for not being able to have a track season in my senior year. I hoped that I would get to help lead shenanigans during the 4×400 at track meets, spend more time with the team, and run my last races at the state meet even if it would’ve been in 90 degree heat. I never would have predicted the season to end just after it barely began due to a global pandemic. However, I am glad to have made so many memories during the past seasons.

I want to thank Coach Hall and Coach Fenton for coaching me over the years, helping me achieve new PRs, and teaching me the strength of mental toughness. I also want to thank Coach Krista for being there for the girls distance team even when she wasn’t specifically coaching the distance runners. 

To Thuc I leave all the sunscreen in the world, carpooling, and always wondering if the person running in the distance is a teammate or a stranger. To Phoebe, I leave keeping Kyle and the rest of the boys in line. To the freshies (Jenna, Elise, Priyanka, Bela, Ella), I leave making running fun. And to Kyle, I leave the Murphy legacy. 

I will be attending UNC Chapel Hill in the fall and I plan to major in Biology.   

Cate Pitterle

Cate Pitterle

From Coach Hall

Cate Pitterle, a first-year track & field athlete, competing in the throws and sprints, was totally new to track this year. A successful golfer, Cate’s golf experience helped as she felt the benefits to throwing early on with many “transferable skills.”  Most athletes struggle with these throwing concepts and techniques. But for Cate, this was almost second nature and she learned quickly. She combined good technique with speed and strength. Her early attempts at the discus were quite impressive. Cate has a positive, can-do attitude and personality and will do well in anything she focuses on.

Erin Singleton

Erin Singleton

From Coach Hall

Erin Singleton, a first-year track & field athlete, competing in the sprints, joined us from a successful career as a golfer. It takes a sense of adventure to move from golf to the track, which are so different in so many ways. However, Erin’s dedication, determination, and attention to detail were just as at home on the track team, and Erin added just the kind of personality the track team likes to have among our ranks! 

Christiana Swift

Christiana Swift

Christiana Swift

From Coach Hall

Christiana Swift, a 2-year track & field athlete, competing in the jumps, Christiana was a great pupil of her event and improved in the long jump throughout her rookie junior season. More than this, Christiana was a great team member and teammate. She enjoyed her afternoons with the team and was an enthusiastic, positive part of our team and jumps group culture. 

In her own words

Based on how much I enjoyed my first track and field season as a junior last year, I know one of my biggest regrets is not taking the opportunity to participate on the team as a freshman. I loved the positive energy, the unconditional support and passionate enthusiasm everyone exhibited for not only their specific events but for the success and happiness of the entire team. While different events draw each individual’s focus, I appreciated that we could always come back together for Coach Hall’s daily messages of empowerment and a productive warm-up at the beginning of each practice. 

As a long jumper, I want to thank Coach Tyrone Jones for encouraging me to “jump” out of my comfort zone and introducing me to new skills to improve my technique. I would also like to thank Coach Hall for motivating me to try Track and Field and offering valuable support and inspiration. Finally, I a big thank you to my parents for braving all the unexpected weather circumstances while attending my meets! 

Maddy Walker

Maddy Walker

Maddy Walker

From Coach Hall

Maddy Walker, a 3-year track & field athlete, competing in the sprints, is one of the top sprinters in our program’s history; a multi-time All-TISAC athlete, Maddy was named TISAC Player of the Year for Track & Field in 2019. Maddy has also been one of our top scorers at the TISAC and State level, and has been central to our Girls team’s success over the past three years, which has been part of five consecutive Girls Team TISAC Championships from 2015-2019. 

In her own words

I want to say thank you to all the coaches who have continuously pushed me to be a better athlete. Coach Rod, thank you for killing me in every single workout until I literally puked, and always supporting me during every race. Coach Hall, thank you for always being there to carry me off the track when I finished my short races; I couldn’t have done it without y’all.  A Huge shoutout to Koen for being my running buddy and making practices fun. Thank you to the entire athletic department for making my experience at Cary Academy one to remember and making sure everything worked smoothly through every game, meet, and race. 

I want to leave the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relays to any 4 girls who want to become best friends and share some of the best memories. I will be attending NC State University in the fall majoring in Law and Justice on the Pre-Law track! Thank you again to everyone for making such a terrific experience possible!

Written by Dan Smith, Digital Content Producer and Social Media Manager

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