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Running strong
Cross country teams ranked in top 10
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The Dawson County High School cross country team hosted its first meet of the season Sept. 7. The Tigers played host to East Hall and Rabun County high schools.


Rabun captured first in both the girls’ and boys’ races. The girls finished first by one point, while the boys’ team won by 17 points.


“Due to our training schedule we decided to hold out our top five runners for both the boys and girls,” said Dawson County Head Coach Brian DeRose.


Individually, Tiger Chris Bywaletz won the boys varsity race with a time of 21:00 on a very tough course.


On Labor Day weekend the boys and girls saw action at the University of Georgia Invitational in Athens.


Tyler Thurmond broke the 18-minute mark, running 18:01. Following Thurmond, were Jon Erickson with an 18:05 finish and Preston Adams with an 18:20 finish. Both times were personal records for the two runners. Luke Williamson and Sam Wentworth rounded out the Tigers varsity runners.


On the girls’ side, Madalyn Walters placed fourth against some very stiff competition from larger schools. Walters finished the race with a time of 19:34.


Following Walters were Emma Salmena, Rachael Gloeckner, Michelle Burkett, Bethany Auten and Morgan Gaddis.


“Both teams are right on track for our season goals set back in July. We both want to qualify for state competition in Carrollton,” DeRose said.


Both teams are ranked in the top 10 in AA in the state.


The Tigers are currently ranked #8. Westminster holds the #1 position with Lovett, Blessed Trinity, region foe North Oconee, Cross Keys, Pike County, Bleckely County, Elbert County and GACS rounding out the rest of the spots.


The Lady Tigers are No. 10 in state rankings.


Ahead of them are Westminster, Blessed Trinity, Lovett, GACS, Jackson County, Buford, Bleckley County, East Jackson and Jefferson.


Dawson will face a big mid-season test this weekend when they travel to East Jackson for a huge meet.


Many of the teams in Region 8-AA will compete in the event.


“This will give us a true feeling about where we are in our region,” DeRose said.