Central Georgia Star Grace Tinkey
Grace Tinkey runs cross country for First Presbyterian Day School and she's one of the most dominate athletes in the state. But you would never know it to look at her.
Grace is just over 5 feet tall and weighs only 92 pounds, but she strikes fear into the hearts of her competitors across the country.
It's long days of hard training that has gotten Grace to where she is today.
"Her work ethic separates her from other girls," says April Cassell, FPD Girls Cross Country Coach.
Grace has set herself atop the pack in Central Georgia athletics. She won GISA cross country championships in '08 and '09 but this season Grace really opened eyes, winning the GHSA crown. And she did it in style.
"She ran actually the fastest time of the day of any division, 1A through 5A," says Cassell.
After her outstanding Championship performance Grace was looking for a spot at the Footlocker Nationals. That was a spot she'd have to fight for.
"The top 10 people get to go from Charlotte North Carolina to San Diego and I got 10th in that race so that was a very nerve wracking experience," says Grace.
Grace crossed the finish line in 15th place at the 2010 Footlocker Nationals. She's won multiple State Championships in a variety of events and just recently she was named the Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year for Georgia. But things haven't always been this way.
"I had done ballet for a really long time and so I thought it would be kind of fun to go out there and run cross country but I was really bad. I probably walked every single meet, but it was really fun," says Grace.
Spending time around Grace, you get the feeling she finds most things fun. When it came to running the results began to show.
"Time's are coming down. It was just incredible to see her change from 6th grade to 8th grade year. What a difference it made," says Cassell.
Grace hit the ground running in High School and has not looked back. She hopes to return to Nationals but not for the reason you might expect.
"I really would like to make it back the next two years of High School. That would be really really fun because we made a lot of friends up there and I'd really like to go back and see them again."