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DCHS cross-country tops region
E6QD Chris Shelp
cross country

The DCHS cross-country team proved they are the team to beat in Region 7-AAA when they took to the course at the West Hall Invitational on Tuesday, Sept. 9.

With the boys team ranked at seventh in the state in AAA and the girls ranked fifth in the state in AAA, the DCHS cross-country teams had much to prove with five Region 7-AAA schools being represented at the meet.

Both teams did just that.

The boys team finished in seventh place out of the 19 teams competing at West Hall and finished in first place out of the five Region 7-AAA teams competing at the event. Jacob Poston, in just his second cross-country meet of his high school career, led the Tigers for the second meet in a row. Poston finished 23rd overall with a time of 18:12. Armando Jimenez finished 12 seconds behind Poston with a time of 18:24 to earn 28th place overall. Chris Shelp (18:27), Brandon Barker (18:55) and Owen Jordan (19:21) rounded out the top five times for Dawson and helped the team to their seventh place team finish.

Our boys team spread from one to five was the lowest of all teams at the meet with a spread of 1:09, said Charles Beusse, DCHSs head cross-country coach. I was very pleased to see this and hope to see that continue as our entire teams times improve. However, having a low spread is only a part of cross-country and while I am pleased with where our spreads currently sit, we have many other facets to work on as well.

The girls team finished in sixth place out of 20 teams and finished in first place out of the five 7-AAA teams represented. Cassidy Lecours continued her strong running from last week to lead the Lady Tigers with a time of 23:00. Lecours time earned her a 23rd place finish overall. Marley Hamby crossed the finish line 10 seconds later to finish in 24th place overall with a time of 23:10. Faith Sinclair (23:44), Melanie Rimawi (23:52) and Ansley Costley (24:24) rounded out the top five best times for Dawson to allow the team to take the sixth place finish. All of Dawsons top five finished in the top 40 overall runners at the meet.

Everyone on our team works hard and has clear expectations of themselves and their teammates, Beusse said. Our runners have been practicing daily since the beginning of June and have put in thousands of miles in their effort to improve individually and as a team. Being successful in cross-country takes a tremendous amount of dedication and this team has shown that. Theres really no substitute for hard work no matter how talented someone may be. These kids have earned success through hard work and that is what makes me proud of them.

Beusse and the teams goals going into the West Hall Invitational were to finish the event as the top team from their region, and those goals were obtained decisively.

Anytime you can see runners execute as planned, it makes you proud as a coach, Beusse said. Its great to do well in regular season meets and I believe it helps to build runners confidence, but region and state are the only races that really matter. If the kids keep working hard, theres no doubt in my mind that they will be ready when it counts. it should be an exciting season for DCHS cross-country.

The team will get another chance to improve towards their goals of region and state when they take part in a meet at Gilmer High School on Saturday, Sept. 27.