Class AAA Top 10
Finish School Points
1 Blessed Trinity 49
2 Oconee County 88
3 Westminster 104
4 East Jackson 125
5 Jefferson 176
6 Banks County 205
7 Savannah Arts 213
8 Calhoun 221
9 Coahulla Creek 227
10 Dawson County 276
The Dawson County High School boys' cross country team finished in 10th place at the Class AAA state meet at Carrolton High School Nov. 7.
Dawson County finished with 276 points.
Head Coach Charles Beusse said some of his team was disappointed with the finish.
"We entered the meet thinking we had a shot for a better finish, so I know some of the guys are disappointed, but I'm not. This is a pretty young boys' team and I see a huge future for this group. With so many freshmen and sophomores on varsity, a top 10 finish in state is nothing to be ashamed of. This group may become a show horse in years to come," he said.
Taking the state team title was Blessed Trinity High School with 49 points.
Runner-up medals went to Oconee County with 88 team points.
Christopher Shelp placed the highest for the Tigers with a 38th place finish and a time of 19:12.
"Chris did run well. He has really developed this season and I only see him improving even more going forward. If he has a good track season, I expect him to enter cross country next fall set up for a big junior season," Beusse said.
Region 7-AAA champion, Jacob Poston, ran into some tough luck on Saturday.
Poston collapsed close to the finish line due to dehydration and heat exhaustion. The talented junior struggled but crossed the finish line with a time of 19:16 and a 40th place finish.
"Jacob (Poston) was very disappointed and I was as well, not in him, but because I know how hard he worked all season to prepare himself for state. I'm proud of Jacob, and will be no matter what happens. I know he will always give me his best effort and I can't ask for more than that. The guts it took to finish the race, unassisted, after collapsing was incredible. It was a tough break for him, but already we are planning for next season. I foresee him using this as motivation and will be stronger than ever at state next season. I'd lay a bet on that," Beusse said.
Also competing at the state meet for Dawson County on Saturday were: Raleigh Payne (19:50), Cody Wood (19:57), Ethan Clark (20:02), Garrett Carlisle (20:10) and Ethan Cowart (20:37).
Carlisle was the only senior to run at the state meet.
"Garrett is a four year member of this team and I've been able to coach him for three of those. He has grown and matured in those three years, not only as a runner, but as a leader as well. He has been huge in taking many of our younger runners under his wing and teaching them what it means to be a member of the DCHS Cross Country team. Garrett is a sought after runner and may choose to continue his career at the collegiate level," Beusse said.
Winning the individual race was Chase Kennedy from East Jackson with a time of 17:07. His brother, Chandler, came in second place with a time of 17:21.
"This season has been huge. The crowning moment was picking up the first boys region title in school history. Firsts are huge because they set the standard for the future. Now that these young runners have tasted success and been on top, I expect them to fight to stay there and they expect that of themselves. This season has been a huge stepping stone for the boys program," Beusse said.
The coach said there is a lot that goes into the program that makes it a success.
"I'd like to thank my assistant coaches for all of their help. I'd also like to thank parents for their continued support of our runners. Our runners are always fed and have everything they need to be successful thanks to our parents. These parents have stood out in some of the worst weather conditions I've seen at cross country races to cheer for these runners, and though they may not always verbalize it to their parents, I know it means the world to these kids. We have a great family within the Dawson County Cross Country community and I'm incredibly thankful for that," Beusse said.