Dawson County High School varsity and junior varsity cross country runners once again had strong showings, this time at the Unicoi Mountain Invitational in Helen.
Jacob Poston took first place out of 182 runners on the varsity boys' side, while Frankie Muldoon finished third overall for the varsity girls with the second fastest time ever by a female runner at Dawson County High School.
The race was hosted Oct. 6 by White County.
"This is always one of our favorite meets of the season and especially important this year because it will be our region course," said Head Coach Charles Beusse.
The junior varsity boys' team finished fifth out of 21 teams competing and Beusse said he was pleased with the effort.
"In all we had six JV boys finish under 20 minutes, something that I was very proud to see and something that shows the potential we have for the future," he said. "Almost all of the JV set personal best times."
Jerman Lopez was able to take almost two minutes off of his previous best time, according to Beusse.
Though the junior varsity girls side did not have enough runners competing to score as a team, two runners still had their personal best times-Mariah Beach and Elizabeth Lessard.
The varsity boys were led by Poston who finished at 15:57, but the win was not a challenge for the senior runner.
"He wasn't pushed or challenged by anyone in the race yesterday and was able to cruise in the last half of the race," Beusse said.
Beusse said he knows that Poston can continue to run faster.
Although runner Nathan Blythe is coming back from an injury, his performance was strong and Beusse said he feels good about where he is headed in time for region and state.
Beusse also praised the efforts of Nico Poston and Ethan Cowart and is challenging them to "close the gap between the 4-5 spot by region."
Muldoon's third place finish at 19:17 was a personal record for the runner.
Marley Hamby finished 11th at 20:11 and her effort was a big help to the team.
"Bailey Cotter, Alyssa Habermann and Jenna Lecours all looked solid yesterday," he said. "Alyssa and Jenna are improving, but we still need them closer to Bailey and that's something we will be working on as we begin to focus on region."
The teams will race again on Oct. 19 at Buford.