The Dawson County cross-country team traveled to Canton, on Sep. 14 to compete against some of the best teams in the state in the 2019 Warpath Invitational. Featuring over 200 runners representing 30 different teams it is one of the largest races the Tigers will run this season and Head Coach Charles Beusse was impressed with his team’s results.
“Overall, I was very pleased with what I saw from our runners,” Beusse said. “We had many personal best performances from our runners, and I felt that we came together strong as a team for the first time this season.”
Led by senior Ben McGinnis, who finished 17th in the field of 207 athletes, the boys’ varsity saw all five scoring runners turn in a time of 17:35 or better which is a marked improvement from their early races this season. Collin Kilgore, having recovered from a hamstring injury that kept him out of last week’s race crossed the line just outside of the top 20 runners. He was followed by Luke Hamby, Ethan Smith, and Brendan Swafford all of whom finished within 20 seconds of each other to give Dawson County on overall finish of seventh out of 31 teams.
“This race featured some of the best teams from all classifications in the state and I felt that our boys held their own very well,” Beusse said. “It was the first time this season that I felt like our guys all raced well as a team, not just having a couple of good individual performances.”
As has been their strategy all season, the Lady Tigers ran the race in a tight pack, as all five scoring runners posted a personal best time for the season. Racing for the first time this year without front-runner Jenna LeCours, who was also dealing with hamstring issues, senior Evion Reinhardt stepped up to lead the way for Dawson County. She was followed by juniors Celine Sapp and Molly Meunchen, while seniors Avery Young and Bri Ray rounded out the scoring for Dawson County.
“Obviously, missing a top runner hurt our team score significantly, but I was still pleased with what I saw from our other varsity runners,” Beusse said. “Almost all of these girl's ran their best times of the season and I was pleased with their performances.”
Away from home for the entire season, the next challenge for the team will be on Sep. 21 at the Wingfoot Invitational in Cartersville, the largest cross-country race in Georgia.