GOLDEN LIONS: LPCA Races Way To TAPPS 4A Girls Cross Country Crown

GOLDEN LIONS: LPCA Races Way To TAPPS 4A Girls Cross Country Crown (Copyright (c) 2022 VYPE - All rights reserved)

CHARLOTTE FREEMAN MAY JUST BE A FRESHMAN AT LEGACY PREPARATORY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY BUT SHE DIDN’T RUN LIKE ONE LAST NOVEMBER AT THE TAPPS STATE CROSS COUNTRY MEET.

In a TAPPS 4A field that saw three of the top five finishers in the girls race end up being freshmen, Freeman was amongst the group posting a time of 13:21.0 to take fourth overall. Her and junior Aubrey Davis (13:35.5), who finished eighth and passed four girls in the last 150 meters, helped lead Legacy Prep to 74 points, which was enough to win the TAPPS 4A State Championship in 2021.

“It was an exciting time — stepping back and looking at the beginning of the season and looking forward to what I thought we could do — I felt really confident about it,” LPCA cross country coach Casey Clark said. “This year was a great team effort.”

This marks the second State Championship in program history for the Lions. The previous came in 2018, then as a TAPPS 3A program. This is the first in TAPPS 4A.

“Four years of having a program and two State titles, I think it’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 crew.

All the pieces fell into place in 2021 for the Lions.

But what was the secret sauce?

“I think it is the culture of the team and what the kids have been able to create and make it a place where people want to come,” Clark said. “When I started coaching here eight years ago, we had four kids on the team.

“This year, with middle school and high school, we had 49 runners — 27 in high school. It’s just a testament to the culture that has been 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.”