The former Walton standout will attend Princeton this fall, where the estimated cost for the 2014-15 academic year, including room and board and living expenses, is nearly $60,000. And though he will be running for the Tigers, Ivy League schools do not offer athletic scholarships.
Fortunately, help wasn’t too far away for Farmer.
The Atlanta Track Club and its foundation presented him with the first Hawthorne Wesley Scholarship Award at its recent awards banquet.
The $2,500 award, named after a founding member of the club, is given to most outstanding male athlete who exemplifies excellence in athletics and academics.
A recipient of Walton’s Advanced Placement honors award and a scholar-athlete, Farmer completed his senior season with state titles in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs at last month’s Class AAAAAA state championship. He also placed 11th at the Class AAAAAA cross country state championship in November.
“I hope to put this money to good use,” Farmer said. “I’m excited for the opportunities available to me at Princeton, and I’m excited to run there.
“The research, the campus, the people and the community — it’s great to be able to go there. I had an incredible season, and I couldn’t have asked for a better last year with my team. Racing has been a great experience and will help me in college and later on in life.”
Farmer won the 1,600-meter state title in a personal-best time of 4 minutes, 11.47 seconds. His 3,200 time of 9:15.90 was the fastest time for all divisions.
“I want to thank the Atlanta Track Club for recognizing me,” Farmer said. “At first, I didn’t believe my name was called for the scholarship. The speaker gave a description of my resume and I tried to guess who it was because (Walton) coach (Travis Gower) didn’t tell me.
“Then, I thought I might actually get to win. I remember coach having me fill out the application, and the information the speaker was giving reminded me of my answers.
“When he said my name, I was on cloud nine. It’s amazing. Coach and I have been looking for money to help pay for college, and this is a good start.”
The Atlanta Track Club also presented Dunwoody’s Alex Cameron with a similar $2,500 scholarship as its most outstanding female athlete. Cameron captured the Class AAAAA state title in the 1,600 and placed fifth in the 3,200.
“It’s great to be the first recipient of the Hawthorne award,” Farmer said. “When I walked up (to receive the award), it was a huge honor. In being the first, I hope to lead a pathway for others to follow after me.”