Head coach Arron Haynes and the Dawson County track and field team got off to a fresh start at their first meet of the season at White County on Thursday, Feb. 24.
Coming off a pandemic-affected season of tumult and sacrifice last year, Haynes witnessed his team put together an outing filled with a plethora of encouraging finishes.
“I felt (that) for us to be as young as we are, that we had a great effort given tonight by all the runners,” Haynes said. “The kids came out and gave their hardest…to challenge people the way they did was just outstanding.”
Much of the youth is on the girls side, where only nine of the 26 members of the team are upperclassmen. Despite that youth, some of the best finishes of the night came from the young players.
Sophomore Anna LeCave and eighth grader Addison Smith finished first and second in the 800-meter event, with just one second separating the two at the finish line. Smith would win at the 1600-meter.
Freshman Eva Bishop finished first in the shot put and narrowly finished second in the long jump to teammate Jocelyn Thompson, a senior who jumped half an inch longer than Bishop.
Sophomore Katie Gloeckner finished first in the 400-meter.
While plenty of potential was shown by the underclassmen, the older players also had their share of solid finishes.
Juniors Emily and Lauren Kurtz finished first and second at the 100-meter sprint, with just 0.16 seconds separating the sisters. While Lauren also finished first at the 200-meter, Emily had finished first in the pole vault earlier in the day.
On the boys side, senior Ethan Smith led the way by winning three events. He won the 1600-meter and 3200-meter distance races before winning the 800-meter as well.
Also finishing in first place were Riley Westbrooks in the long jump, Garrett Fillingame in the high jump, Bailey Dameron in the 100-meter, Will Kurtz in the 200-meter and Chandler Bagley in the 300-meter hurdles.
The next official meet for the Tigers will be hosted at Greater Atlanta Christian on Saturday, March 19, at 9 a.m. There is also a potential meet to be held on Tuesday, March 8, at Fannin County.