The Dawson County High School cross country teams had yet another strong showing against tough competition during the Marist Double Dip Invitational over the weekend with the girls’ team placing ninth and the boys third overall.
“I’m a big believer that if we want to be prepared for championship competition at state, it’s vital to get our runners experience in racing elite level teams during the regular season,” said Coach Charles Beusse.
The event at Marist School on Sept. 9 saw the Dawson girls team finish 9th behind the efforts of Frankie Muldoon who was fifth out of 162 runners in the field.
“Frankie continues to look improved in each outing this season and is setting herself up to be one of the top individuals in class AAA this season,” Beusse said.
Jenna Lecours followed Muldoon in what Beusse called a great race despite it being her first varsity outing at the event.
Despite battling sickness, Marley Hamby was next for the Lady Tigers.
“Rounding out the girls team were Molly Meunchen, Abby Cotter, Evion Reinhardt and Mattie Grant,” he said. “All of these girls had good performances and continue to improve.”
Beusse said with improvement and closing the gap between the three and four and five spots, the team can make it to the podium at state.
The girls' program is now in the No. 1 spot in Region 7-AAA and No. 4 in the state.
On the boys’ side, Cody Wood led the team to their third place finish and finished eighth out of 200 runners.
“Cody continues to improve and he has really turned a corner since last year,” Beusse said. “His time of 16:54 for the 5K course at this point in the season really shows his fitness and the amount of work he did over the summer.”
As of publication time, timing issues at the event had not given accurate team results.
The boys’ team did finish within the top 10.
Ben McGinnis was next on the boys team with a time of 17:13 and the 18th spot overall.
“I thought Ben might have had the best race of any of our guys on Saturday. Ben is coming on strong and should be a key piece of success we expect to have later in the season,” Beusse said.
Another strong performance came this week from Chris Shelp who Beusse calls the glue to the team.
“I don’t think we have seen Chris race to the best of his ability this year, but when it comes together for him, it’s going to be big. I really think he’s on the verge of a breakthrough,” he said.
The remaining top five runners were Nathan Blythe and Nico Boston who finished at 18:31 and 18:33 respectively.
At the region level, Dawson County is even with North Hall and No. 4 in the state.
“Our team average Saturday of 17:45 puts us very close to No. 1 ranked Westminster,” he said.
Dawson County will compete again at 8 a.m. on Sept. 16 at East Jackson.