EATON — The longest running county cross country meet in the state continued last week with Eaton claiming both the boys and girls titles.
This was the 72nd consecutive year for the event, which has fallen by the wayside in many other counties.
“I’m glad we were able to continue the tradition of the Preble County Championship meet for the 72nd consecutive year,” Eaton coach Randy McKinney said.
The first county meet was held Oct. 19, 1951 at Lanier High School.
Eaton hosted this year’s meet on Wednesday, Sept. 20 at the Eaton Country Club.
“The Preble County Cross Country Championship is the longest consecutive running county championship meet in the State of Ohio. Many county meets across the State of Ohio were cancelled over the years for one reason or another,” McKinney said. “But in the last 10 years many of them have been brought back by the coaches of the schools in those counties across Ohio who realize the value of contesting a smaller county championship meet. County Championship meets provide a unique small race opportunity/atmosphere that has slowly disappeared with the creation and continual growth of large invitational meets.”
Eaton’s girls had a perfect score of 15 to outdistance runner-up Preble Shawnee, who finished with 57 points. National Trail was third with 68. Tri-County North and Twin Valley are not fielding girls teams this season.
Eaton took the top six spots led by Emily Haynes, who placed first overall with a time of 21 minutes, 4.91 seconds.
Rounding out the top six were Addi Guiley (21:15.47), Josie Eilerman (21:49.79), Brynlee Hamilton (21:54.67), Cami McCloud (22:22.80), and Elise Simmons (23:00.92).
Preble Shawnee’s Bella Adkins finished seventh in 23:37.46, while National Trail’s Gretchen Murphy was eighth in 24:01.89.
Eaton’s Sara Abner (24:15.74) and Alli Davis (24:24.68) rounded out the top 10.
On the boys’ side, Eaton took the top two spots en route to its first-place finish with 27 points. Preble Shawnee was second with 39 and Twin Valley South was third with 66. National Trail and Tri-County North did not have enough runners to earn a team score.
Tanner Davis, of Eaton, was the county champion with a time of 16:59.78, while his teammate Jack Richardson was the runner-up in 17:30.79.
Rounding out the top 10 were Preble Shawnee’s Trent Geise (17:48.43), Eaton’s Nick Laycox (17:57.77), Twin Valley South’s Samuel DeHart (18:06.91), Preble Shawnee’s Dennis Hall (18:17.03), Preble Shawnee’s Mason Shrout (18:26.35), Preble Shawnee’s Case Roell (18:29.15), Eaton’s Bradley Gifford (18:29.82) and National Trail’s Braydan Lee (18:30.33).
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on X @emowenjr.