The last two weekends have been a busy time for the Dawson County boys and girls cross country teams.
Sept. 4 the teams competed in a very competitive University of Georgia meet in Athens. The Saturday before they ran in the Northeast Georgia Invitational race at Athens Christian High School.
Maddie Walters picked up a second place finish at the Athens Christian race. She was edged out of first place at the finish line. Walters established a new school record of 19:24 for the 5K.
“She ran the perfect race, attacking at the two-mile mark trying to take the sprint out of the girl from Athens Christian. Maddie is right where she should be for this time of year in her season plan. So we are going to keep working towards her goal,” said Head Coach Brian DeRose.
“I was surprised how well the girl’s team ran considering losing four varsity runners to graduation last year. They are young, but I still think they are going to surprise some people,” DeRose said.
Times for the Lady Tigers were: Emma Salemna (23:05), Rachael Gloechner (25:05), Michelle Burkett (25:29), Bethany Auten (25:29), Morgan Gaddis (26:21) and Christine Schmid (26:50).
“The guys really surprised me at Athens Christian,” DeRose said.
“I knew they were going to be strong this year, but I didn’t realize we were going to have three guys under 18:30. The guy’s team is in the same position as the girls were in last year. They are eyeing the region championship.”
Times for the guy’s team were: Preston Adams (18:30), Tyler Thurmond (18:34), Jon Erickson (18:37), Sam Wentworth (20:30), Jake Hafermalz (21:36), Mason Carr (22:58) and Jacob Spillane (23:32).
Saturday the team competed at the UGA Invitational at the Equestrian Center in Athens. Twenty-four high schools and eight college teams ran in the event.
For the junior varsity boy’s team, Jacob Miller led all Tiger boys with a time of 22:22.31. The team as a whole came in 12th place.
Also running for the junior varsity boys were: Harris Day (23:32.17), Jacob Spillane (24:08.98), Mason Bearden, John Branson, Craig Butler, Kevin Spillane, Tony Ramirez and Drew Thompson.
Winning the junior varsity boys event was Josh Wheeler from Oglethorpe County with a time of 17:51.08.
For the junior varsity Lady Tigers, Summer Lewis posted the lowest time with a 26:52.99 and a 26th place out of 75 runners.
Morgan Williams (26:52.99) came in 28th, Savana Estes (27:42.99), Katherine Smith, Eve Perkins, Riley Robins, Caroline Lee, Kaylen Priest and Miranda Abe also ran the 5K for Dawson County.
The team finished in sixth place out of 10 teams running.
Walton High School finished first.
Winning the junior varsity girls’ race was Emily Boyle from Walton with a time of 21:48.33.
For the varsity Lady Tiger girls, Maddie Walters finished in fourth place out of 174 runners. Walters posted a time of 19:32.79.
Jordan Humphrey of North Gwinnett crossed the finish line in first with a time of 18:52.27. North Gwinnett is the reigning AAAAA state champions.
Competing for Dawson County were: Emma Salemna (22:53.48), Michelle Burkette (24:54.95), Morgan Gaddis (26:23.81), Rachael Gloeckner (24:19.22) and Bethany Auten (25:41.93).
The Lady Tiger team came in 11th place out of 19 teams.
On the boys’ varsity side, Tyler Thurmond placed the highest for Dawson County. Thurmond finished in 53rd place out of 180 runners in the 3.1-mile race. He crossed the finish line with a time of 18:00.01.
Jon Erickson 56th place (18:01.77), Preston Adams (18:21.47), Luke Williamson (19:49.91), Sam Wentworth (20:27.37), Jake Hafermalz (21:06.56) and Mason Carr (21;36.96) also ran for the Tigers in the event.
Finishing first was Josh Brickell from Peachtree Ridge High School with a time of 15:57.30.