Both Dawson County High School cross country teams qualified for the upcoming state meet with third place finishes at the region competition.
Both teams ran pretty well this year at region, said Coach Brian DeRose. I continue to be proud of these runners year after year for showing up to the region meet, exceeding expectations and qualifying.
The teams both improved their rankings in the region. The girls entered ranked sixth and the boys entered ranked fifth.
Third at region is a good accomplishment, DeRose said. The teams ahead of us are really good teams with fast kids.
Preparing for the state meet is nothing new to these teams and that is good news for DeRose.
Being an experienced team, both boys and girls will know what to expect at state so the mental preparations will be minimal, he said. State will be the icing on the cake for most all of our seniors.
Both teams set a goal for top ten finishes at state early this season and now they are one step closer. DeRose thinks this goal is within their reach.
I think a top eight finish for both teams is realistic, but at state anything can happen, he said. There are so many teams and runners, its hard for the kids to tell where they are exactly and that can be a huge advantage.
Two years ago, the girls team went in shooting for eighth and ended up fourth. I think both teams have the talent to make it to the top four podium at state.
Both teams featured very good individual performances. Madilyn Walters broke her own school record (18:55) and won the individual title for the girls team. Tyler Thurmond broke the school record by six seconds (17:38) and just missed the automatic state bid by seconds.
Cassidy Lecours, Morgan Williams, Morgan Collett and Savanna Estes delivered solid performances for the girls and Chris Bywaletz, Preston Adams, Jon Erickson and Jake Hafermalz rounded out the boys top five.