Seniors Frankie Muldoon and Cody Wood, along with junior Ben McGinnis, sophomore Wiley Dennis and freshman Ryan McGinnis, represented Dawson County High School on Nov. 24 in Charlotte, N.C. at the South Regional qualifier of the Footlocker National Championships in McAlpine Park.
The Foot Locker Cross Country Championships are a series of annual cross country races established in 1979 to determine the best high school runner in the nation in every age bracket.
This year’s race took place in muddy, cold conditions and a combination of freezing rain and low temperatures slowed the usually fast-timed course.
“At race time, the temperature was in the low 30s with sleet and freezing rain in the area,” said Head Coach Beusse. “Definitely not perfect conditions, but true cross country weather.”
Racing in the junior category, Ben McGinnis continued to build on his break-out season as he finished 25th in a field of 217 runners and earned All-South honors.
Finishing in the upper half of the championship race, Muldoon put her name on the national stage as one of the best cross country runners to emerge from the southern region.
Wood capped off his season with a solid performance, besting 154 regional runners with his 32nd place finish in the senior race.
In the sophomore race, Dennis put the local area and the nation on alert by finishing in the top 25 percent and Ryan McGinnis displayed the future of Dawson County with his pace in the freshman race.
“Footlocker consists of some of the best runners from across the southeast and features many state champions,” Beusse said. “While it's not a race affiliated with DCHS, it's a fun way for our runners to test themselves against some of the best in the nation.”
One of four qualifiers, the South Regional featured runners from Florida, Texas, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arkansas, West Virginia and Louisiana. The top 10 runners, along with two alternates, move on to the Foot Locker Cross Country Championship that takes place in late December in San Diego, Calif.