Lady Tiger senior cross country runner Savanna Estes is running up to 40 miles per week in preparation for the 2012 season.
Estes will be a key part of a rebuilding year for the Dawson County High School cross country program, following the team's loss of four seniors from last year's team.
"We have moved up a [classification] this year and I am hoping that we still can make it to state. Our team is looking pretty good," Estes said last week. "I have had to take a big leadership role because we have lost four of our top five runners. Those are big shoes to fill."
Head Coach Brian DeRose agrees that Estes will be looked to for leadership this season.
"Savanna has really jumped into a leadership role this summer. The usually quiet Savanna has been getting the team together for social events after practices and on the weekends," he said.
Estes says the team has been busy training this summer as well as getting to know each other.
"On Tuesday [July 31] we went up to Yahoola Creek where we did a hill workout. Everybody calls it a mountain workout. During training this summer I usually run anywhere from 35-40 miles per week. I try and do different types of running. Sometimes I will run twice day."
Estes said her goal is to reach the state meet in Carrollton this season.
"I am hoping to get [in] the top six in region so that way I have a place in the state meet," she said.
The senior says she would like to continue running in college.
"I would love to run in college. I have been looking at a few schools and I could go to North Georgia and run. I would have to be a walk on though," she said.
DeRose said the goal is a reachable one for Estes.
"Savanna has really taken on running in a leadership role this past spring on the track and it has spilled into cross [country]. Not only has she improved dramatically in the distance events, but also in the leadership role. I'm looking for Savanna to make some great strides this season for her final cross country season at the high school level," DeRose said.