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CROSS COUNTRY: Tigers begin season with PRs at Pickens and top-5 finishes at Wesleyan
(Left to right) Anna LeCave, Jules Phillips and Addison Smith run during the Pickens Preview on Saturday, Aug 20. (Photo courtesy of Jonathan Tinsley)

Head coach Jonathan Tinsley had plenty to be encouraged about after the Dawson County cross country teams ran in their first two races of the season. 

The varsity and junior varsity teams started together at the Pickens Preview on Saturday, Aug. 20, before splitting for different races the following Saturday. Varsity ran at Wesleyan while JV ran at Chestatee.

In the early morning rain at Pickens, several runners earned personal records while others experienced their first varsity race. 

“It was a great start to the season,” Tinsley said. “So proud of our performance at our first race. Had a few kids that ran in their first varsity race and did excellent and a few JV runners that ran in their first ever race.”

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After finishing up at Pickens, the varsity side took the top seven runners from the boys and girls teams and put on a strong showing the next Saturday at Wesleyan. 

The girls team finished third overall, led by a fifth-place finish by Hayden Hand, 10th by Anna LeCave and 11th by Jules Phillips.

Cael Hand runs during the Pickens Preview. (photo courtesy of Jonathan Tinsley)

Tyler Tangel and Bailey Swafford helped the boys team to fifth place. The top five runners on the boys team held together for most of the race, with just over a minute separating them.

In between those two weekend races, the middle school team got started with a race in Union County, led by coaches Edwards and Parish.

The middle school Tigers had five members of the girls team finish in the top 20 overall in the race, including a third-place finish by Sarah Carrington and an eighth-place finish by Maria Gloeckner. The top boys finisher was Caden Clifford. 

The cross country teams will be off this week before heading to North Hall on Thursday, Sept. 8, for a 5:30 p.m. race. Both the varsity and JV teams will participate.