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FALL PREVIEW: Cross Country looks to make progress with junior class
The boys cross country team runs during a meet last season. Chase Cofield (furthest Dawson runner to the right) is a rising junior who is set to make an impact this season. (Photo courtesy of Jonathan Tinsley)

Dawson County Tigers Cross Country

Head Coach: Jonathan Tinsley, second season

Boys finish last year: Third in Region 7-3A, 11th-place finish at State Championship

Girls finish last year: Fifth in Region 7-3A

Key Returners: Anna LeCave (Jr.), Tyler Tangel (Jr.), Jules Phillips (Jr.), Chase Cofield (Jr.)

The junior classes of the Dawson County boys and girls cross country teams will be tasked with leading their group of runners heading into this season.

Last year, the boys team finished third in Region 7-3A before just missing out on a top-10 finish at the state championship.

While a core group of seniors graduated from that team, the current group of juniors have the experience of learning under those athletes and are looking to rapidly improve individual times to help the Tigers compete for a region title.

“We’ve got a great group of juniors…every one of them is pushing themselves,” Tinsley said. “That whole group of boys are like that. It’s contagious.”

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Anna LeCave runs during a meet last season. LeCave is one of two juniors on the girls team and will be tasked with helping the younger runners improve. (photo courtesy of Jonathan Tinsley)

A total of five juniors will be heading up a team that also includes a couple of sophomores who could make an impact this season. 

Of the returning runners, Tyler Tangel was the top finisher at last season’s region championship with a time of 18:47, finishing 18th overall. 

The girls team is looking to improve their standing in the region, having placed fourth and fifth over the past two seasons.

Juniors Anna LeCave and Jules Phillips will be leading a young roster that includes freshman Addison Smith and sophomore Bella Hunt.

Tinsley mentioned that LeCave and Phillips have been helping teach and motivate the younger runners, some of whom have not yet experienced varsity competition.

All of those runners will be looking to push themselves and the team back into contention for a region title and to qualify for the state championship.

At last season’s region championship, LeCave was the top finisher for DCHS with a time of 21:34, good for eighth place overall. 

The first cross country meet will be Saturday, Aug. 20, at Pickens County High School.