30-year old Alden Acker is the youngest member of the Fannin County Sports Hall of Fame Induction class of 2017. She competed in track and field, basketball and cross country at Fannin County High School from 2000 through 2004, earning four varsity letters in track and field, four in basketball and two in cross country.
Alden’s strongest event in track and field was the 400-meter run. This event involves running around the entire track one time. The 400 meter run is not for sissies. When asked about her strategy in the event, Alden echoes the words of a Clemson University track coach who taught at one of the camps she attended as a youth: ‘Start running as fast as you can and keep it up for as long as you can’. It is a demanding, grueling discipline.
Alden Acker won the Region 7AAA championship in the 400 meters all four years that she competed at FCHS. She went on to finish 5th at the state meet twice and finished 4th the other two times. She was not, however, a one trip pony in the track and field wars. She also won Region championships in the 800 meter run and long jump and was the anchor of the 400 meter, 800 meter and 1400 meter relay teams that also won gold medals at the Region level for the Lady Rebels. Overall she had a total of 12 first place finished in Region track and field competition, 6 individual titles and 6 relay titles.
Alden began competing in organized track and field and basketball before reaching the age of 10. A native of McCaysville, she was a member of the Fannin County Recreation 10 and under basketball teams that won state titles in 1995-96 and 1996-97. In Recreation League track and field, she competed in the 800 meters and long jump and won the USA track and field competition in the long jump at the state level.
The Fannin County High School girls track team won the Region 7AAA Championship in 2000-01, Alden’s freshman season. It was the first such title in school or county-wide history.
In addition to her track and field accomplishments at Fannin County High, Alden was also a valuable member of the Lady Rebel basketball squads. She was named MVP of the Battle of the States Tournament held at Towns County High School in 2003. She received the FCHS Best Defensive Player award for the 2003-04 season. While at Fannin, her basketball teams advanced to the 2001-02 state AAA Final Four and to the 2003-04 title game.
Her athletic prowess resulted in her selection as the Most Athletic Senior Girl in the 2003-04 Fannin County High School graduating class.
After graduating from high school, Alden was awarded a track and field scholarship to Georgia Southern University. She competed there for two seasons before hanging up her spikes.
Alden had developed an interest in medicine and continued her education at Chattahoochee Tech in Acworth. She embarked upon a grueling schedule of attending classes at Chattahoochee two days a week and devoting the remaining three week days to completing her clinicals at Kennesaw Wellcare, all of which required a commute from McCaysville. She persevered, however, and is now a surgical technologist at Fannin Regional Hospital. Her next goal is to become a surgical first assistant.
Alden certainly came by her athletic excellence honestly. Her mother, Sandy Brown Acker, was an outstanding basketball player at West Fannin High School and her father Charlie was involved in athletics as a youngster in his native Charlotte, North Carolina. Sandy is the school nurse at Fannin County High School and Charlie is a geologist.
Alden currently makes her home in McCaysville with her 9-year old daughter Ava. When asked if Ava might carry on the family athletic tradition, Alden says that, so far, Ava is more interested in academic and artistic endeavors than in athletics. But who knows what the future may hold for Ava — at about the same age her mother discovered that she could outrun just about everyone around.