First year head coach Charles Beusse will lead the Dawson County girls cross country team to the Region 7-AAA meet at Unicoi State Park just outside of Helen on Oct. 31.
Freshman Bailey Cotter has posted the lowest time for the Lady Tigers this season at 22:38 for the 5,000-meter event. Cotter recorded that time at Unicoi early in October. Bailey is currently ranked 22nd in Region 7-AAA.
Leading the region is sophomore sensation Jenna Gearing from White County. Gearing is ranked No. 1 in the region with a time of 18:20.
Second in Region 7-AAA is Makayla Howell from Banks County with a time of 19:17.
White County, North Hall and Buford should contend for the team region title. White is currently ranked No. 3 in Class AAA. North is ranked No. 6, while Buford is No. 7.
"The girls team is much younger than most teams in the region and so much of the season has been about gaining experience," Beusse said.
"I think that the girls have a shot to qualify for state though. They just have to put it all together on race day and race harder than they have all season. I've seen some great things from them in workouts lately and I'm excited to see how that translates into racing at region. The girls just need to focus on racing rather than time," he added.
Rounding out the Dawson County team will be: Cassidy Lecours (23:07), Isabel Queen (23:15), Melanie Rimawi (23:18), Faith Sinclair (23:41), Taylor Grindstaff, Ansley Costley and Jaylee Leete.
"The girls need to be tough and move up through the field during the race. If they can do that, it can be a breakthrough performance for our girls. Having a young team, I want our performance at region to set the stage for things to come on the girls team for years to come. We had five girls place in the top 10 at our home meet, so I'm hopeful that that experience will help our girls at region," Beusse said.
The top four teams will qualify for the state meet, which will be held in Carrollton.