The Dawson County High School girls' cross country team ended its season with an eighth place finish at the state cross country meet at Carrollton High School on Saturday.
This year marked the fifth straight that the Dawson County girls' team has qualified for the state event.
Westminster, for the third consecutive year, captured the state team title with a score of 35 points. Blessed Trinity finished second with a score of 68.
Region 8-AA placed four teams in the top 10 at the Nov. 5 meet.
North Oconee led the region during the state meet and captured fourth place.
Jackson County came in fifth, followed by Dawson County in eighth and Jefferson in 10th place.
"The girls got out strong," said Head Coach Brian DeRose. "There are so many strong teams this year at state. The private schools dominated once again with Westminster, Lovett and Blessed Trinity taking the top three spots. The girls went into state ranked 11th and finished eighth."
Senior Madalyn Walters completed her cross country career with a fourth place individual finish. Walters ran a time of 19:42.73 over the grueling 3.1-mile course.
"Maddy got out quick and was sitting third most of the race. Sahara Fletcher got a quick start and never looked back. The last mile Maddy picked it up and used a lot of matches trying to catch Fletcher. In the end she finished fourth," DeRose said.
"I know Maddy was a little disappointed, but she has nothing to be ashamed of. She is one of the top runners in the state. Maddy still has the Foot Locker Regional Meet in Charlotte, N.C. at the end of the month. She will be back on top form for that," he added.
Sahara Fletcher, a junior, from Westminster won the state individual championship with a time of 19:08.89.
Runner-up honors went to teammate Michelle Sullivan who crossed the line in a distant second with a time of 19:33. Bailey Willett from Blessed Trinity came in third, 8 seconds in front of Walters.
Lady Tigers Rachel Gloeckner was second on her team with a time of 22:29.48 and a 46th place finish. There were 204 runners in the event.
Rounding out the Dawson County team were: Cassidy LeCours (23:02), Savanna Estes (23:27), Morgan Collett (24:06), Morgan Williams (24:13) and Summer Lewis (24:17).
"Freshman Cassidy Lecours had a standout race in her first state meet, finishing third for the team. Also running strong were junior Savanna Estes and senior Summer Lewis. Summer ran the best she's run in a long time. It's nice to see a senior, especially, leave it all out on the course. I'm excited about next year as Savanna and Cassidy are returning to build the team around," DeRose said.
"Seniors Rachel Gloeckner, Morgan Collett and Morgan Williams, had solid races for their final cross country race," he added.