ELIZABETHTOWN, KENTUCKY — Making its yearly trip across the border, Eaton’s cross country teams turned in successful performances at the Central Hardin Fairgrounds Frenzy on Saturday, Sept. 9.
The women’s team placed 3rd in the 32-team field while the men’s team placed 5th in the field of 32 teams.
“We have never been to this meet but decided to go to have the opportunity to compete against some of the top individuals and teams from across the state of Kentucky,” coach Randy McKinney said.
According to McKinney, most of the schools were larger Kentucky schools equivalent to Division I in Ohio.
“Our athletes had the opportunity to compete against some of the top male and female runners from Kentucky,” he said. “The course ran fairly fast, but it was a very challenging course with rolling terrain and several switchbacks in the course design.”
In the women’s race Emily Haynes and Brynlee Hamilton led the way for the Eagles placing 18th and 21st in 21:15 & 21:25 respectively.
Addi Guiley was close behind placing 25th in 21:44 followed closely by Josie Eilerman who placed 29th in a time of 22:02.
Cami McCloud rounded out the top five Eagle finishers with her 34th place finish in 22:20. Elise Simmons placed 39th in 22:33, Alli Davis 73rd in 24:08, Emma Pierce 78th in 24:19, Sarah Abner 99th in 25:30, Vivian Weadick-Hoober placed 109th in 25:59, Kyeleigh Gifford 114th in 26:31 and Charlie Wells placed 153rd in 31:25.
“Most of the girls brought their times down from our season opener at Celina on a very tough course,” McKinney said. “I’m really pleased with the progress the girls team is making as we head into our invitational this weekend.”
The men’s team was led by Tanner Davis who placed 12th overall in the field of 220 runners in a time of 17:03.
Jack Richardson was the second finisher for the Eagles placing 22nd in a time of 17:48, Nick Laycox placed 31st in 18:12, Wes Kitichin was 50th in 18:49, Michael Fomin & Bradley Gifford placed 72nd & 73rd respectively in 19:30 & 19:31. They were followed close by Dylan Staley in 76th place in 19:33. Zach Laycox was 84th in 19:45, Gabe Smith placed 93rd in 19:58, Quentin Peach placed 136th in 21:27, Charles Kochensparger 139th in 21:30, Paul Boyd placed 184th in 23:42, Jacob Kelley placed 193rd in 24:04 and Carson Alexander placed 210th in 26:57.
“Most of the boys brought their times down from the season opener at Celina like the girls,” McKinney said.
McKinney noted he has been pleased with his teams progress thus far.
“Both teams are young with some experienced upper class teammates. We are going to be work in progress the entire season. I’m very pleased with our progress and excited about the potential I believe we have with both teams,” he said. “Our goal is to continue to improve our physical and mental approach to the upcoming races which will in return allow our athletes to improve individually which in turn will allow us to continue to improve as a team/program as we progress from week to week.”
Both teams return to action this weekend hosting the Eaton Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 16, at Fort St. Clair Park.
Eaton’s women’s team will run at 9:45 a.m., while the men’s squad will compete at 10:15 a.m.
“It should be a very competitive field of competition for both men and women’s teams,” McKinney said.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on X @emowenjr.