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Rain dampens Unicoi finishes
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The Dawson County High School varsity cross country teams competed at Unicoi State Park in the Mountain Invitational last week.

The Oct. 1 meet was hosted by White County High School.

The mountainous course was made even more difficult because of all the rain that made conditions less than ideal.

Several areas had thick mud and a couple of hilly sections were slick. These factors generally slowed times on the course.

"This is one of the biggest meets in the north Georgia area and always has some great competition," said Head Coach Charles Beusse.n "The venue is beautiful and with it always falling at the beginning of October, it kind of marks the beginning of the championship season for cross country.

"Unicoi is also a great chance to see many of the teams within our region, which is an added benefit of attending the Mountain Invitational."

Freshman Frankie Muldoon led the girls team with a fourth place finish overall with a time of 19:50.

In only her fourth race, Muldoon became the second fastest runner in Dawson County cross country history.

There were 137 runners in the race.

"Frankie really had a breakthrough race on Thursday," Beusse said. "Frankie is a great runner and a great person. She really adds a lot to our team, not only in athletic ability, but also with her positive attitude and work ethic."

Jenna Gearing, of White County, won the event with a time of 18:00. Finishing in second place was Sue Morales from East Jackson with a time of 18:10.

White County won the team event with 76 points.

Coming in second was North Oconee with 81 team points.

Dawson County finished in sixth place with 176 points.

There were 18 teams at the meet.

Marley Hamby also ran a great race. She finished in 14th place with a time of 20:49.

On the boy's side, junior Jacob Poston led the way with an 11th place finish and a time of 16:37.

Poston led the Tigers to an 11th place finish as a team with 260 points.
There were 28 boys' teams at the meet.

North Oconee captured the team title with 63 points, followed by North Hall with 74 points.

Winning the individual event was Thomas Moore from North Oconee with a time of 15:39. Second place went to Chase Kennedy from East Jackson (15:46).

There were 187 runners in the varsity boy's race.

"The key for both teams is going to come down to closing the spread between runners one through five. This is especially true for the girls. We have to have someone step up as a strong number three [runner] in order to be successful going forward. There are several girls that can do that, but it's on them to actually do it on a competitive stage," Beusse said. "I wouldn't say that I'm necessarily disappointed in the teams, but I was a little disappointed with a few individual performances.

"I thought the boys ran well considering their youth and many picked up personal bests, which should boost their confidence."

Both teams will race Saturday at Lambert High School in Forsyth County.