Faced with their first test of the season, the Dawson County cross country program traveled to Chestatee Middle School in Gainesville for the 15th Annual War Eagle Invitational along with 21 other teams from around northeast Georgia on Aug. 28.
With the varsity boys placing second overall and the girl’s team placing third, Coach Charles Beusse was pleased with the day’s results but saw areas for improvement.
“We made some mistakes which is to be expected in the first race,” Beusse said. “I also saw some runners step up.”
Cody Wood led the men’s team completing the 5k with a time of 17 minutes 27 seconds, placing him as third overall on the day. Wood was closely followed by Ben McGinnis whose time of 17:33 put him sixth for the day. Rounding out the top five for Dawson were Wiley Dennis (18:29), Luke Hamby (18:45) and Will Mulberry (19:03).
“Up front in the 1-2 positions, we are strong,” Beusse said. “The question mark for the year will be the performances and consistency of the 3-5 spots. We aren't at a bad point by any means, but we aren't where we want to be either.”
Leading the way for the women’s team finishing first overall and setting a course record with her time of 20 minutes 24 seconds was Frankie Muldoon.
“Frankie looks strong this year and has the potential to be a top runner in AAA again,” Beusse said.
Jenna Lecours was the team’s second runner across the line with a time of 22:48, which was good enough for an 11th place finish overall. Filling the third through fifth positions were Avery Young (24:17), Molly Muenchen (24:35) and Evion Reinhardt (24:59).
As he rated the team’s performance for the day Coach Beusse was pleased overall, but said he does see room for improvement as the season progresses.
“The coming weeks will be focused on securing the 3-5 spots,” Beusse said. “We are far from where I want us to be right now, but I do see lots of potential with this group. I believe our new runners will continue to improve well and they could be a bigger factor later in the year.”
The varsity teams are scheduled to race again on Sept. 9 at Marist School.