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Walters head of the pack
Boys and girls teams finish in 7th place
Varsity Cross Country pic1
Lady Tiger Morgan Williams races in the Northeast Georgia Championships Saturday at Athens Christian. - photo by Ryan Coker Dawson Community News

Madalyn Walters captured first place at the Northeast Georgia Championships Aug. 27 at Athens Christian High.

Walters posted a National Elite time of 19:42.38 to take the title ahead of second place finisher Amanda Cope from Winder-Barrow.

"Maddy had a great race. We used the same game plan as last year. She put in a significant surge at the two mile mark and this year it paid off," said head coach Brian DeRose.

There were several different divisions at the meet. Both Dawson teams ran in the championship division in the inaugural race of the season.

"We did great for our first meet," DeRose said. "Our girls were the biggest surprise of the day. We have mostly seniors and freshmen on the girls' team, so there is lots of experience to help the younger runners."

In the girls' championship division there were 87 runners, while on the boys' side there were 122 runners.

The Lady Tigers finished in seventh place as a team. Flowery Branch won the team title, followed by Winder-Barrow in second place. There were 10 teams in the championship division.

Dawson ran well over the 5,000-meter course. Rachel Gloeckner posted a time of 23:08.27 to finish in 31st place. Other Lady Tigers runners in the top 70 were Morgan Collett, 51st, Morgan Williams, 52nd, Taylor Grindstaff, 65th and Savannah Estes, 69th.

On the boys' side the Tigers also finished seventh overall out of 15 teams.

North Hall took the team title just ahead of runner-up Flowery Branch.

Tiger John Erickson crossed the finish line in 33rd place with a time of 18:50.23 to lead all Dawson County runners.

Josiah Jenkins from Athens Christian High School came in first place with a time of 16:14.91.

"The guys have a lot of depth this year. It is very competitive with places one through 10 on the team," DeRose said.

Chris Bywaletz also ran a good race with a time of 18:57.73. Bywaletz came in 37th place.

Tigers Jake Hafermalz, 49th, Josh Styles, 52nd, Preston Adams, 56th, Sam Wentworth, 71st, Zach Wilkens and Avery Cowart all ran for the Tigers at Saturday's meet.

"North Oconee will be our toughest challenge in the region this year for both the boys and girls," DeRose said.

The Titans came in fifth place in the girls event and sixth place in the boys event at Saturday's meet.

Dawson County will be back in action this Saturday as they run at the University of Georgia Invitational meet in Athens. Meet time will be at 10:15 a.m.

Both teams are ranked No. 10 in the latest coach's poll.