Top 10 Stories | Cross Country Races in Honor of Teammate

Top 10 Stories | Cross Country Races in Honor of Teammate

2017-18 Berry Athletics Top 10 Stories

Over the coming days, the Berry College Department of Athletics will revisit the 2017-18 season with a look at some of the top stories from the year. A new story will be revealed each day (Monday through Friday) from July 10-23.

Cross Country Races in Honor of Teammate

Each season, the Berry cross country teams host the Berry Invitational welcoming alumni and more than 30 schools to the Clara Bowl. However, the 2017 meet proved to be one of the most gutsy and emotional performance in program history. 

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. 

The teams were set to race on October 14th, pulling together with heavy hearts to run in honor of their teammate. 

Both teams went on to run remarkable races as the women finished first with the men's team taking second in the strong meet. The Vikings ran with "Shankles" across their backs.

"'What an emotional performance,' head coach Paul Deaton said. 'We are so thankful for the outpouring of support from alumni, parents, other Berry athletic teams, opposing teams and friends throughout the community. As David Shankles would say, 'It's go time!' This most difficult week and unexpected end to a life well lived is a beginning for us.'"

-From the Archives | Berry Vikings Game Recap from Oct. 14, 2017


The meet helped spark an outpouring of support in honor of David. The Vikings' 3,000m Steeplechase event, which David placed top five in as a freshman at the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) Championships, was named in his honor. Family, friends and teammates also gave gifts to Berry College and Young Life of Rome in his memory per his parent's request. 



2017 Berry Invitational