She may only be halfway through high school, but Liberty High School sophomore Lakisha George has a resume that would make a lot of seniors jealous.
She carries a 3.7 grade-point average. She's an elected leader of a statewide student association. She's a member of the Bealeton school's state championship cheerleading squad.
And finally, she may be one of the fastest high school sprinters in Virginia. Saturday, George will represent Liberty individually in the 100- and 200-meter events and as a member of the 4x100 relay team at the Group AA meet at James Madison University. Liberty's girls team is the defending state champion.
"I shock myself sometimes," George said about her sprinting ability. "I do better than I think I can a lot of times."
That has happened many times this spring for George. Last year, she was a standout sprinter, running a leg for the Eagles' 4x100 relay team that set a state record. She also ran the 100 at states last year but didn't qualify for the finals.
This spring, George placed third in the 100 at the Region II meet, in 12.93 seconds, and placed fifth in the 200 in 26.54. She anchored the 4x100 relay team that place second in 51.21. At the Northwestern District meet, she won the 100 and placed third in the 200. She placed second in the 100 and 200 at the Handley and Loudoun Valley invitationals, two of the area's toughest regular season meets.
For all her accolades and accomplishments, George claims she sometimes lacks self-confidence. A self-described "scrawny" runner, she needed the encouragement last year of former teammate Nichole Thompson, who ran with her on the 4x100 relay team and won the 100 at regionals.
"[This year] I still have some of the freshmen picking me up and telling me I can do it," George said.
"It's not just that she's a good athlete," Liberty Coach Ken Wall said. "She's a well-rounded person. She has a lot of other interests and excels in a lot of different areas."
One of those interests is the Technology Student Association of Virginia. Last year, a teacher and family friend, Elsworth Weaver, encouraged George to join the group, which specializes in helping students learn "how to live with the technical world," according to George.
She was elected the association treasurer at the state level this year, and she's also the group's historian at the regional level. George said she is interested in becoming an engineer. She designed a building's floor plans and elevators for a class assignment this year.
Sometimes, George admits, she is overwhelmed by all of her activities, which include directing the youth choir at her church. But she says she confronts everything with equal desire.
"I'm a determined person," George said. "I'm not going to let anyone down. Being on a team, I'm going to do a good job, because everyone else is trying to do a good job and expecting me to do a good job, and I don't want to let them down."
"There are kids who their whole world is centered around their sport, [but] with her she's got a lot of things going on, whether it's track, basketball cheerleading or the technology association," Wall said. "She seems to give 100 percent to what she's doing. That just seems to be the type of person she is."
CAPTION: Liberty's Lakisha George will compete in 100- and 200-meter events and on 4x100 relay team at Group AA meet Saturday.