Dawson County High School Head Cross Country Coach Brian DeRose and his staff held time trials at Rock Creek Park last Friday.
More than 50 runners took part in the evaluation on a very hot afternoon.
“The time trials went OK,” DeRose said. “Our times were slower than expected and I attribute that to the heat.”
The team has been having double practices since early June.
The girls’ team will be led by junior Maddie Walters. The Lady Tigers will have only one “senior” on the team, exchange student Emma Salmela from Finland.
“Emma is classified as a senior because she is an exchange student, but she is only 16,” DeRose said.
On the boys’ side there will be one senior, Luke Willamson.
“We should be very strong on our boys side this season,” DeRose said.
Both teams hope to reach the state meet again this season in Carrollton.
“We have over 50 runners and we want to retain them. This is the largest number we have ever had,” DeRose said.
He said he has been impressed with Lady Tiger freshman Michelle Burkett and Tigers Tyler Thurmond and Jon Erickson.
The team will begin running long interval practices over the next two weeks in preparation for their first meet Aug. 28 at Athens Christian.
The cross country team is also trying to raise money for the season. DeRose’s team will host a lap-a-thon from 8 p.m. to midnight Aug. 21 at Tiger Stadium. Each runner will get a pledge for laps completed.
“We want this to be a festive fundraiser,” DeRose said.
There will a tent set up to serve food and DeRose has several bands lined up to keep runners or walkers entertained.
DeRose expressed hope that people in the community will make either donations or pledges for his program.
For more information, call (706) 265-6555.