For the second consecutive year the Dawson County High School girls’ cross-country team is headed to state. The Lady Tigers finished in third place at the Region 8-AA meet last Saturday at Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville.
Dawson, ranked No. 8 in AA, finished just five points behind region winner North Oconee, ranked No. 4, and 1 point behind second place finisher Jefferson, ranked No. 5 in AA. North had a total of 60 points, Jefferson 64 points and the Lady Tigers had 65 points during the meet.
“We really ran better than last year,” Coach Brian DeRose said. “We hope to run well at the state meet. Our region is awfully tough.”
Freshman sensation Maddy Walters led the Lady Tigers. Walters ran a time of 21:10 for an overall finish of fifth place. It was the fastest time of any freshman at the meet and also broke the school record.
“She started the beginning of the season at around 27 minutes just running with partners she felt comfortable with. We kept pushing her to run with girls that will make her work and obviously she did. We told her on Saturday to just tear it up and see what you can do. She could be potentially the best runner in this region before it’s all over,” DeRose said about Walters.
Not only did Walters have a great meet, teammates Emily Beusse, Krista Morgan, Morgan Bennett and Morgan Williams put in fine performances for the Lady Tigers as well.
Beusse, a junior, finished in seventh place overall with a time of 21:45.
Morgan also posted a great time for the Lady Tigers. Morgan came in ninth overall with a time of 22:12.
“Both Emily and Morgan have been solid for us all year. Without them we wouldn’t be going back to state,” said DeRose.
The biggest surprise for Dawson was the fine run by sophomore Morgan Bennett. Bennett ran her best race of the season coming in 21st place.
“This was a surprise. She ran her fastest time of the season and her best race. Morgan really pulled us through,” said DeRose.
“This region is so tough. It really prepared us for the region meet and the state. Our goal is to run better than our eighth place finish from last year,” DeRose added.
The team will travel to Carrollton for the meet this Saturday.
As of press time the start time of the AA race had yet to be announced.
E-mail Pam Jacobs at firstname.lastname@example.org.