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Dawson County Mountain Biking kicks off season
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Talen Sorace racing at Kingstown Downs in the Dawson County mountain biking team’s first race of the season. Sorace finished in third place for ninth grade boys. Photo by Dustin Heard.

On Saturday, Sept. 18, the Dawson County Mountain Biking team kicked off their season with a race at Kingstown Downs in Rome, Ga. 

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Chatham Ash on the podium after finishing in third place for varsity girls at the first mountain biking race of the season for Dawson County. Photo by Dustin Heard.

“The race went great,” team director Dustin Heard said. “Last year's race season was condensed to a time trial format due to covid, so this was our first official race where things were set up back to normal with mass starts. The entire weekend was a great success thanks to all the help and support of our coaches and parents.” 

According to Heard, this year's team has 12 kids; six middle schoolers and six high schoolers, with ten of those participating in the race. Middle schoolers raced Saturday, with high schoolers racing the following Sunday. Each day had around 600 student athletes from across the state race, with about 2,000 spectators made up of families and friends.

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Hollings Ash finished in third place for sixth grade girls. Photo by Dustin Heard.
Three racers had top-three finishes for Dawson County; Hollings Ash finished third for sixth grade girls, Talen Sorace finished third out of 120 ninth grade boys and Chatham Ash finished third for varsity girls. 

Two racers, seventh grader Bryce Hinkle and ninth grader Maddie Opp, ran their first ever mountain biking race. 

“It was rewarding to see them compete with such excitement and gaining a post race confidence boost for their achievements,” Heard said. 

The team’s next race will be at Allatoona Creek in Acworth on Saturday, Sept. 25. 

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