Vikings Cross Country Set to Race in Honor of Teammate

Andy Butzow
Andy Butzow

By Meredith Herman, Sports Information Assistant

MOUNT BERRY, Ga. — The Berry cross country teams will be racing on home turf this Saturday at the Berry Invitational, featuring alumni and over 30 schools. However, both of Berry’s teams will be racing with with heavy hearts after the loss of a teammate earlier this week.

On Tuesday, October 10th, the cross country team lost sophomore David Shankles who passed away suddenly leaving behind his loving family, friends and team. The Knoxville, Tenn., native was a dedicated supporter of the cross country team and also a strong contributor to the Berry track program during his freshman year. David's parents have requested that in lieu of flowers, gifts can be given to Berry College in memory of David ( or to Young Life of Rome.

“This is our final regular season competition before the SAA conference championships. We are all set for outstanding competition, except that our hearts and souls are grasping for resolution to questions too difficult to answer," head coach Paul Deaton said. "Our loss of David Shankles is unexplainable, and our grief is setting a course we will travel together with some uncertainty. No one knows how we will compete Saturday. We do hope to live life to a degree that David inspired, which will surely be competitive one day.”

The men and women will race at 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. respectively in the Clara Bowl. The team plans on competing in honor of David.