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Runners dominate on trail
DCHS defends region championship
S-Boys cross country pic1
The varsity cross country team took first place last week in regionals to win its second straight region championship. - photo by Amy French Dawson County News

Dawson County High School dominated last week's race at Unicoi State Park when the team won its second straight region championship behind individual region champion Jacob Poston.

This was the second ever region title in school history and, as in the girls' race, North Hall was the primary competition.

"In the boys' race, we were able to pick up a very close and hard fought win over the No. 2 team in the state, North Hall," said Head Coach Charles Beusse.

Poston, a senior, was pushed early by North Hall's top runner Tommy Johnston.

"I actually think that helped Jacob because he had to work a little bit," Beusse said.

Poston pulled away at about the half way point of the race and his 15 minute 32 second time was a new course and school record. He beat the previous record by 22 seconds.

"I was very happy to see him get that school record, previously held by Dylan Forester, because that is something he has been chasing for two years now," Beusse said.

"It was huge, huge," Poston said. "Probably the best day of my life so far. I have been working for that for like my whole high school career, building up to that moment, and I finally got it. It was amazing."

The rest of the boys' team made an extraordinary effort to move past one of the top teams in the state.

"Our other guys really stepped up strong behind Jacob, the majority of them running their fastest times of the year," Beusse said.

"Chris Shelp, Cody Wood, Nathan Blythe, Ben McGinnis and Nico Poston all raced lights out as they knew they had to do."

The race was so close that it came down to the fifth man.

Freshman runner McGinnis was that fifth man, and according to Beusse, he met the challenge. McGinnis beat North Hall's fifth runner by two seconds to secure the one point victory.

"That's about as close as you can get in a cross country race. I was proud of the maturity and the grit that our boys showed on Thursday," he said.

The team ended with an average time of 16:57.

The junior varsity boys' team also saw success at Unicoi as they finished second among 7-AAA and 8-AAAAA teams.

Ethan Cowart was second overall and was followed closely by Patrick Moody and Levi Baguette.

"The future looks bright for us and we saw that in the JV race with six of our runners running under 19 minutes," Beusse said. "Will Mulberry, Jacob Sinclair and Herman Lopez also ran the best races I have seen from them all year."

The Tigers will travel to the GHSA state meet to compete on Nov. 5 in Carrollton.