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Region meet to be tough
Runners busy preparing
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Region 8-AA could be the most difficult region overall for both boys and girls cross country in Georgia.

According to state rankings, as voted on by coaches, the region owns spots four through eight on the boys' side. North Oconee is fourth, East Jackson fifth, Dawson County is sixth, Jefferson holds down the number seven position, while Hart County is ranked eighth.

On the girls' side, Region 8-AA also has five teams ranked in the top 10. North Oconee takes the number four spot with the Dawson County girls right behind them at number five. East Jackson is number seven, Jackson County number nine and Jefferson is ranked 10th.

This year's region meet should be very interesting. Scheduled for Oct. 27 at Oglethorpe County High School it will match some of the best runners and teams in the state.

Private schools dominate the top three spots in state rankings.

Westminster is ranked No. 1 in both boys and girls. Blessed Trinity and Lovett take the next two spots in both genders.

With the region meet just around the corner, Dawson County ran at Wesleyan High School in Norcross on Oct. 1. It was a good test with a course that has a little bit of everything, according to officials.

The Tigers boys' team finished in sixth place and performed well.

Taking the top five team spots were: Collins Hill, Wesleyan, Athens Academy, Creekview and Stone Mountain. There were 15 teams running in the event.

Tyler Thurmond ran the best time for Dawson. He crossed the finish line at 17:52 and 17th place.

Henry Dwyer from Athens Academy won the race with a time of 16:17. Runner-up was Justin Philip from Collins Hill with a time of 16:26.

Other Tigers that covered the 3.1-mile course were: Chris Bywaletz (18:25), Jon Erickson (18:25), Josh Styles (18:48), Jake Hafermalz (18:49), Preston Adams (19:01) and Sam Wentworth (19:06).

There were 110 runners that competed.

The Lady Tigers also performed well on the course. Dawson finished in fifth place as a team with 152 points. Collins Hill took team honors with 53 points, followed by Wesleyan (57), Creek view (73) and Landmark Christian (73).

Maddie Walters claimed a National Elite time of 19:36 to finish in third place overall out of 79 runners. To earn a National Elite time female runners must post a time under 19:45.

Winning first place was Chloe Whitworth from Collins Hill with a time of 18:54. Finishing in second place was Lindy Long from Landmark Christian. She crossed the line in a time of 19:29.

Dawson County also posted good times from: Rachel Gloeckner (22:17), Cassidy Lecours (23:21), Morgan Williams (23:45), Savanna Estes (24:10), Bethany Auten (25:26), Sarah Bywaletz (25:50) and Christine Schmid (26:28).

Both teams will compete this weekend at the Patriot Invitational at Oglethorpe County High School in Lexington.

The meet will give both teams a chance to run the course where the region meet will be held.