The extremely young but hard working Dawson County Lady Tigers cross country team qualified for the Class AAA State meet last week.
The state event will be held this Saturday in Carrollton.
Coach Charles Beusse's team picked up a fourth place finish at the Region 7-AAA meet at Unicoi State Park in Helen on Oct. 31. The team was able to secure the fourth and final spot in order to send them to the state meet.
The Lady Tigers picked up 96 team points to pry ahead of fifth place finisher Banks County with 120 points. Winning the region was White County (37 points), followed by Buford with 49 points.
Finishing in third place was North Hall with 52 points.
"Our ladies had a strong showing to take fourth place and qualify for state. We had been preparing for Banks County to go after our girls team because they have hung right with us all season but the girls ran very aggressively and put all five of our scoring runners ahead of Banks County's number two runner. The intensity that Dawson showed was great to see and shows just how much we've developed as a team this season," Beusse said.
Leading the Lady Tigers was freshman runner Bailey Cotter. She completed the 3.1-mile course with a time of 21:42 for a 15th place finish.
Just behind Cotter was teammate Cassidy Lecours. She ran the hilly course for an 18th place finish and a time of 22:01.
Also competing well for Dawson County were Faith Sinclair (22:15), Isabel Queen (22:18), Melanie Rimawi (22:21), Ansley Costley (22:51) and Taylor Grindstaff (23:44).
Winning the individual race was sophomore sensation Jenna Gearing from White County. Gearing broke the tape with a time of 18:22. Gearing is also the defending State Class AAA champion.
Finishing in second place was Makayla Hewell from Banks County. The Lady Leopard completed the course with a time of 19:44, well behind Gearing.
Taking third place was Makayla Ellis from North Hall with a time of 19:54.
The girls race will begin at 8:25 a.m. Saturday morning at Carrollton High School.