Kischondrius Tanksley was one of more than 200 students who graduated Friday night from Thomson High School.
Tanksley, better known as KiKi, was a three-year track star and played basketball for four years for the Lady Bulldogs. During her junior and senior track seasons, KiKi was the Region 3-AAA champion in the shot put throw.
KiKi, the 19-year-old daughter of Traci Turman, of Thomson, also placed fourth in state shot put competition on two different occasions. She also was district champion in that sport last year. In addition, KiKi also won the Garden City Classic shot put two years in a row. That annual event is held in Augusta.
"Her dedication was what made her so successful in the shot put," said Thomson High girls' track coach Chris Harris. "She put in a lot of work behind the scenes. She had a strong desire to compete and did very well at it."
Coach Harris said KiKi "set the bar for girls' shot put at Thomson High School."
KiKi, who is affectionately known as "Big Baby," finished runner-up in the Georgia Class AAA state girls' shot put event in Albany a little more than two weeks ago.
"We're going to miss her a lot," added coach Harris. "We all wish KiKi nothing but happiness in the future."
At present, KiKi is not sure where she actually will be attending college in the fall. She has narrowed the field down to three institutions. They include: Benedict College, Albany State University and Allen University.
KiKi, an A-B student, said she is proud of her accomplishments in both the classroom and in the sports of track and field and basketball.
"I feel good about graduating and knowing I did as well as I could in the shot put," said KiKi. "It feels real good going out as region champion for two years running and to have been runner-up in the state. That's something I'll always remember."
KiKi plans to study criminal justice so can someday become a probation officer with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.
"I chose that field because I like to help people when I can," said KiKi.
She is a member of Shiloh Baptist Church in Warren County where she sings in the choir and is a member of the dance team.
KiKi said she will greatly miss Thomson High School. In addition, she said she also would miss coach Harris and assistant coach Stacy Mims.
"They kept me in line," said KiKi. "They were like my second set of parents. I care about them and love them, just like they care and love me."