A Season of Championships

In the past week, six varsity teams concluded their seasons at their respective state championships: girls and boys track and field, boys soccer, boys lacrosse, and girls and boys golf. Two teams emerged with state titles; three were runners-up. Already this spring, the girls tennis team claimed GHSA gold; boys tennis and girls gymnastics were state runners-up.  

The boys soccer team traveled to Savannah to take on Lovett on May 13. The score remained tied at 0 after going into extra time, and the game went to penalty kicks. After a tremendous save by sophomore goalie Owen Ross, the Knights claimed the title 5-3. Congratulations to all of the coaches and players!

May 13 also marked the beginning of the three-day GHSA Track & Field State Championships at McEachern High School. Twenty-two student-athletes competed for places on the podium, and when all was said and done, the boys (pictured) were crowned state champions—the Knights’ first track and field title since 1972. The girls team was state runner-up. 

Individual track and field state titles went to juniors Laura Arenth (1600 and 3200 meters), Edward Blaha (3200 meters) and John Catherman (100 and 200 meter). Earning silver medals were junior Kate Jonas (3200 meters), E. Blaha (1600 meters), sophomore Brooke Fung Chung (high jump), the girls 4x400 relay (seniors Hanna Vincent and Laura Romig, freshman Rebecca Thompson and Fung Chung), the boys 4x800 relay (E. Blaha and juniors George Blaha, Robert Mallis and Grant Thompson) and the girls 4x800 relay (Arenth, Jonas, Romig and Vincent). 

Bronze medals went to G. Blaha (3200 meters), G. Thompson (800 meters), senior Alexander Swann (300 hurdles), Romig (800 meters) and the boys 4x400 relay (Catherman, senior Jonny Sundermeier, Swann and G. Thompson). In addition, Mallis (3200 meters), G. Blaha (1600 meters), Caroline Hood (1600 and 3200 meters), Sundermeier (400 meters) and Vincent (800 meters) earned fourth-place spots on the podium. Sophomore Frank Caldwell was fifth in the high jump; junior Jordan White put in an eighth-place finish in the 1600 meters; junior Gabby Hudson was eighth in the long jump; and Jonas was eighth in the 800 meters.

On May 15 in a match-up against lacrosse powerhouse Blessed Trinity, the varsity boys lacrosse team attempted to capture its first-ever state title. After a hard-fought match, the team came up short (8-12) to earn the runner-up title and conclude an outstanding season. 

Varsity girls and boys golf wrapped things up for the Knights. Both teams competed in their respective state championships at Southern Hills Golf Club on May 17 and 18, and the boys finished second overall. Junior Ben Shelton, the Knights’ top scorer, was fifth individually. Congratulations to all of our Pace Knights for an incredible spring season—and an amazing year in Pace Athletics! 

Romig, Hall Named Pace Academy Valedictorian, Salutatorian

During Senior Honors Day on May 13, Pace Academy named Laura Romig the Class of 2021’s valedictorian and Mary Childs Hall its salutatorian. Both Romig and Hall have attended Pace since Pre-First.

Romig, Pace’s 2021 STAR Student, is a master of the written word. Her short stories, poetry and flash fiction have earned praise at Pace and beyond. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards recognized her with a National Gold Medal in 2020, and she was one of five Regional American Voices Nominees in the short story category. As co-editor of Knight Gallery, the Upper School literary magazine, Romig has lent her critical eye and wordsmithing wizardry to her fellow students’ work. She has also served as a staff writer for VOX ATL and is working on a novel.

Romig has helped lead the Pace Academy Community Engagement Board, volunteered with Books for Africa and Upchieve, played principal viola in the orchestra and served as treasurer for the Class of 2021. This past fall, she helped the varsity girls cross-country team bring home a state title—and she is competing in the state track meet this weekend. In addition to the valedictorian medal, at Senior Honors Day, Romig received the Charlie Owens Pace Academy Letter Award, Ricks Carson Pace Academy Literary Prize and the Frank D. Kaley Award, Pace’s highest honor.

Hall is as well-rounded as she is active in the Pace community. Her involvement includes leadership roles with the Honor and Disciplinary Committee, the Knights of the Round Table spirit organization, Women Mentoring Women, the Pace Admissions Ambassador Program, Baking for Breast Cancer and Meals on Wheels. She served as co-editor-in-chief of The Knightly News, the Upper School student newspaper, and has been a stand-out member of the varsity lacrosse team. At Senior Honors Day, Hall also received the Charlie Owens Pace Academy Letter Award and the George G. Kirkpatrick Pace Knight Award, which honors members of the senior class whose many selfless contributions to the school demonstrate honor, dedication, exemplary attitude and loyalty—attributes of the "true Pace Knight."

Baseball Knights Receive All-Region Honors

The varsity baseball team’s season came to an end on May 6 in the second round of the GHSA Class AA state tournament. Following their outstanding season, eight Knights received All-Region honors. Congratulations to Region 6-AA Coach of the Year Donice Bloodworth and Region 6-AA Player of the Year junior RJ Austin (pictured). Austin was also named to the All-Region First Team alongside junior Jae Williams and seniors Charlie Janko and Jayden Thomas. Second-Team honors went to juniors Michael Lynch and MJ Morris and senior Gus Thomas.

Yang Second at Georgia Tech Math Competition

The Pace math team wrapped up its year at the Georgia Tech High School Math Competition in late April. Eighth-grader Stephen Yang, freshman Prabhavh Pradeep, and juniors Kargil Behl and Pranavh Pradeep took part in the online event, where Yang placed second as an individual. 

“Where a normal school year would have seen 10 or so tournaments scattered from September to May, this year, almost every Georgia-based competition was completely canceled,” reports faculty adviser Jason Smith. “Instead, the team participated in several national and international online competitions and in Georgia Tech's newly online tournament.”

Highlights of the year included the team of Behl, Yang, Pranavh Pradeep, and juniors Cole Kaplan and Jason Tapper finishing in the top 8% out of nearly 500 international teams competing in the Purple Comet competition. The same team, joined by junior Benjamin Chern, placed in the top 15% of the large national competition run by the Trinity School in New York. In addition, Behl, Kaplan and Yang qualified for the second round of the American Math Competition, the most prestigious national math competition. (Chern, Pranavh Pradeep, Kaplan and Behl are pictured at a 2020 tournament.) Next year, the team will miss seniors Jacqueline Cunningham and Olivia Ullmann.

Girls Tennis Captures State Title, Boys Finish Second

On Saturday, May 8, the varsity girls and boys tennis teams traveled to Rome, Ga., to compete in the GHSA Tennis State Championship at Berry College’s Rome Tennis Center. Both teams faced Lovett, a rematch of the 2019 state finals, and when all was said and done, the girls claimed the trophy, while the boys finished second in the state. Congratulations, Knights!