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Coed Varsity Cross Country, Coed Varsity Track · Bearden track to celebrate life of former teammate with the David Shankles Mile


Bearden will host a mile run Thursday in honor of former student and track and cross country standout David Shankles.

Shankles passed away after having a heart attack in October of 2017.

While at Bearden, Shankles ran the mile for Bearden’s track team, so Coach Patty Thewes believed the best way to honor his legacy would be through a mile run in his honor.

“David was such a big part of our track and cross country teams,” Coach Thewes said. “David ran the 1600 [meter] while he was at Bearden, so the mile seemed like the right distance.

“Also, I thought it would be great to do this during a home Bearden track meet.”

The David Shankles Mile will take place at Bearden’s track at tonight at 7 during the Bulldogs home meet. The meet will begin at 5 p.m.

Not only did Shankles have an impact on the track and cross country team, but also on everyone around him.

“I think David had more positive impact on this world than many people have in a lifetime,” Coach Thewes said. “He was never too cool to show his enthusiasm and love for all.

“We all felt that in him, and he was just amazing to be around.”

Many people on the track and cross country team looked up to Shankles as a runner and as a person.

“David taught me to remember to look beyond the pursuit of my goals as a runner,” senior Nathaniel Blalock said. “It doesn’t necessarily matter what you are doing, but it always matters who you are doing it with.

“David influenced many teammates in these ways.”

When he passed, David was a sophomore at Berry College. He was a member of the track and cross country teams.

Coach Thewes believes the goal of the David Shankles Mile is to honor Shankles and his legacy.

“The overall goal is for us to give tribute to David Shankles,” Coach Thewes said. “If we all take a moment during this race to think of him and how he lived, and in our own life try to emulate that, well, mission accomplished.”