Dawson County High School junior Madalyn Walters had a strong showing at the state track meet last week in Albany. Walters finished as state runner-up in both the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter.
In sweltering heat in Albany, Walters earned second place honors in Thursday’s 3,200-meters. She pushed state champion Sahara Fletcher of Westminster all the way to the finish line. Fletcher barely edged out Walters with a strong push at the line. Walters was only one second back with a time of 11:47 to Fletchers 11:46.
The 11:47 is a new Dawson County High School school record.
“I was winning at the five hundred meter mark then Sahara kicked on the last 150 meters to pass me,” Walters said. “Her [Fletcher] kick is just crazy.”
On Friday Walters picked up another second place medal in the 1,600-meters. It was a tight race throughout that was decided on the final lap.
Walters, Olivia Pigg of North Oconee, Lovett’s Hailey Branch and Westminster’s Mary Zack H’Doubler were neck and neck at the half-mile mark. Each would lead over the first half mile.
Pigg turned it on down the back stretch and won by 15-meters with a time of 5:17.35. Walters kicked it and edged out Zack H’Doubler for second place with a time of 5:21.75.
Walters time set a new school record for the 1,600 meter event as well.
Walters commented about the 1,600-meters by saying, “I was supposed to come in fourth place, but I stuck with the top four runners the entire race. It came down to three girls with about 100 meters to go. I passed the second place girl and beat her by one second.”
Walters, the lone Dawson County High School representative at the meet, picked up 16 team points after two days at the meet. At the time it was good enough for fifth place.
“It feels so good. I wish that I could have won the two-mile but I’m happy with how I ran this weekend,” Walters said.
This is the third year that Walters has qualified for the state track meet. The previous two years she qualified in one event.
“I wasn’t as nervous this year like in the past. I kept to my coach’s game plan during the races and it turned out fine,” Walters said.
“I want to break 19 minutes in cross country. I also want to make it back to the state track meet and win,” she said of her goals for next year.
“I would like to thank Coach [Arron] Haynes, my track coach. I would also like to thank Coach [Brian] DeRose for pushing during all our workouts,” Walters said.