CHARLOTTE FREEMAN MAY BE JUST A FIRST YEAR AT LEGACY PREPARATORY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY BUT SHE DIDN’T RUN LIKE ONE LAST NOVEMBER AT TAPPS STATE CROSS COUNTRY MEETING.
In a TAPPS 4A field that saw three of the top five finishers in the girls’ race end up being freshmen, Freeman was among the group posting a time of 13:21.0 to take fourth place overall. She and junior Aubrey Davis (13:35.5), who finished eighth and passed four girls in the final 150 yards, helped lead Legacy Prep to 74 points, enough to win the TAPPS State Championship 4A in 2021.
“It was an exciting time – stepping back and watching the start of the season and looking forward to what I thought we could do – I felt really confident about it,” said the cross country coach of AMPA Casey Clark. “This year has been great teamwork.”
This is the second state championship in program history for the Lions. The precedent came in 2018, then as the TAPPS 3A program. This is the first of TAPPS 4A.
“Four years of having a program and two state titles, I think that’s pretty awesome,” Clark said.
Morgan Singletary (20th – 14:20.9), Hannah Grace Bryant (24th – 14:31.8), Audrey Sipko (28th – 14:47.3), Layla Faysal (43rd – 15:17.0) and Brooklyn Clark (60th – 15:51.2) rounded out the rest of the Legacy Prep Championship squad.
All the pieces fell into place in 2021 for the Lions.
But what was the secret sauce?
“I think it’s the culture of the team and what the kids have been able to create and make it a place people want to come to,” Clark said. “When I started coaching here eight years ago, we had four children on the team.
“This year, with college and high school, we had 49 runners, including 27 in high school. It’s just a testament to the culture that was created. It’s a family atmosphere and the kids love being here… It has fostered great teamwork and a competitive space where they want to win for each other.