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Ben McGinnis signs with Augusta University
Senior Ben McGinnis mugs for the cameras on Dec. 6, before signing commitment papers with the nationally ranked Augusta Jaguars cross-country team. - photo by Bob Christian

Forging another link in the growing relationship between Dawson County High School and Augusta University, senior Ben McGinnis formally committed to the Jaguars cross-country and track programs on Dec. 6. 

Surrounded by family and friends, McGinnis put the finishing touches on a decision that had weighed on his mind for most of the semester and was up in the air until the very end according to his parents Jeremy and Wendy McGinnis. 

“He kind of committed low-key,” said Mrs. McGinnis. “Just three days before he made his choice, he said that he wasn’t going to run in college.” 

“It was an extremely stressful decision for him,” said Jeremy. “This is a wonderful opportunity, and we are relieved that he found a school that fits.” 

McGinnis will become the third Dawson County Tiger on the active roster of the Augusta cross-country team, joining Jacob Poston and Christopher Shelp. Led by Poston, the Jaguars finished the recent season as a top-25 team and Ben looks forward to competing at the highest levels. 

“They have a great coaching staff and I feel like this is the best decision for me,” McGinnis said. “And when my opportunity comes, I hope I am ready for it.” 

In addition to his familiarity with the team and coaching staff at Augusta University, McGinnis, who currently maintains a 4.16 GPA was attracted to the academic offerings on campus. 

“I’m currently undecided, but there are a lot of options,” McGinnis said. “I am looking at the physical sciences, anything to do with the body.” 

McGinnis has been a staple of the Dawson County cross-country team for the past four years according to Head Coach Charles Beusse. Winning All-State honors in consecutive seasons, Ben led the Tigers to back-to-back regional runner-up finishes and a pair of top-ten placements in the GHSA state finals.


“It has been an incredible honor to have coached Ben,” Beusse said. “He is one of the hardest workers I know, and I know that he will be successful at the next level. I think his best is yet to come.” 

Track and field coach Aaron Haynes followed up with a similar listing of accomplishments for McGinnis, citing his leadership in an undefeated 2019 season that ended with the boys’ varsity teams first regional title in school history. 

“Ben has been a leader for this team since day one,” Haynes said.