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Four school records broken as track team excels at region meet
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The boys and girls 4x400-meter relay teams stand together after winning their respective events. - photo by Rio White
Over the course of two days at the Region 7-AAA Track and Field Championships, the Dawson County team broke four school records and qualified several athletes for the Class AAA State Sectionals in two weeks.

The Tigers made the trip over to Cherokee Bluff to compete on Thursday, April 21, and Friday, April 22. 

Anna LeCave and Ethan Smith broke school records at the 800-meter event on Friday, with LeCave posting 2:25.46 and Smith at 1:56.54. “The girls and boys 800 records were exciting to see,” head coach Arron Haynes said. “Even more so when you consider that the two former record-holders are both currently running at Division 1 schools on the track teams. It will be fun to see how these times hold up at the state series over the next several weeks.”

Both 4x200-meter relay teams broke school records, with the girls team recording 1:50.06 and the boys at 1:33.68.

In total, four individuals and five relay teams qualified for the sectionals. 

Individually, Smith finished as region runner-up in both the 400 and 800-meter events, LeCave finished third in her 800-meter run, Emily Kurtz was third at the 400-meter event and Bailey Dameron qualified with a fourth-place finish at the boys 100-meter sprint.

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Anna LeCave runs the 800-meter race, where she broke a school record and finished third to qualify for the state sectionals. - photo by Rio White

For the relay teams, the record-breaking 4x200 teams had their finals on Thursday. The boys team of Garrett Fillingame, Jaden Horner, Will Kurtz and Smith finished second, while the girls team of Vita Govorkova, Katie Gloeckner, Lauren Kurtz and Emily Kurtz finished third.

The girls 4x800 team also ran on Thursday, with the team of Jules Phillips, Elizabeth Knight, Gloeckner and LeCave finishing second in that race.

On Friday, both 4x400 teams won their races in dramatic fashion on the final leg.

The girls team began with Lauren Kurtz, who established the team in a top-four position. LeCave maintained that positioning before Gloeckner began to close the gap with the top two racers.

On the final lap, Emily Kurtz made a charge in the last 200 meters and launched herself into first place to give DCHS their first top finish of the region tournament.

The boys followed up on that performance with a win of their own, with Dameron starting up the race. Freshman Aaric Muilenburg kept up with the breakneck pace in the second leg before handing off to Will Kurtz. 

After back-and-forth position changes during the first three legs, Smith made an emphatic late charge to give the Tigers a second victory of the day.

“The [relay] teams have really worked to sharpen their hand-offs which in itself can make the difference between winning and losing,” Haynes said. “Relays are something that our team has always taken great pride in and have proven over the years.”

The state sectionals will be held on Saturday, May 7, hosted by Greater Atlanta Christian. In addition to all who qualified, several DCHS athletes are alternates for that event.