Dawson County finished in eighth place at the state cross country meet in Carrollton Saturday.
The Lady Tigers scored 221 team points in an impressive end to the season.
The state meet was dominated by two regions, Region 5-AA (Lovett, Westminster, Blessed Trinity and Buford) and Region 8-AA (North Oconee, East Jackson, Jefferson and Dawson County). Those two regions placed seven teams in the top 10.
Private schools took the top three team spots. Winning the state championship was a very strong Lovett squad. The team turned in a score of 49. Close behind was Westminster with 56 points. Also placing in the top 10 were: Blessed Trinity (114), North Oconee (147), Bleckley County (181), Jefferson (192), East Jackson (200), St. Vincent’s Academy (252) and Pike County (257).
“I think our region really prepared us,” said Dawson County High School Head Cross Country Coach Brian DeRose. “We finished in eighth again, but we improved. It helped running with some pretty tough teams. Every year we start out to do better than the year before. I think we did that this year.”
Individually, freshman sensation Maddy Walters led all Dawson County runners crossing the finish line 17th out of over a 100 runners at the meet.
Walters turned in an impressive time of 21:10.55, which tied her school record.
Junior Emily Beusse also ran a good race, covering the 3.1 miles in a time of 22:05.84 for a 30th place finish.
“Emily ran a good race, even though her time didn’t reflect it. The course was very tough,” DeRose said.
Also competing for Dawson were Krista Morgan, Morgan Bennett, Morgan Williams, Paige Reese and Alora Mitchell.
“When Morgan started running this year she was running 29 minutes. Now, she has cut it to around 22 minutes which is outstanding,” Derose said of freshman runner Morgan Williams.
“We have our top five runners returning next year. So we should be better if the girls will train hard in the off season,” said DeRose.
Winning the AA individual state championship was Rachel Greenwall of North Oconee with a time of 19:44.28.E-mail Pam Jacobs at firstname.lastname@example.org.