EATON — The Eaton cross country team divided into two squads last week. One team traveled to the Tiffin Carnival Invitational and another traveled to Brookville to participate in the Brookville Invitational on Saturday, Sept 12.
“The Tiffin invitational is a highly competitive meet,” said Eaton head coach Randy McKinney, who said heavy rains the night prior to the race caused times to be slower than normal for the course.
The boys team finished 11th out of 49 teams in the Division II race which featured 323 runners. The Eagles placed behind seven state-ranked teams, a strong Loudon Valley program from Virginia, along with a top team from Indiana, and outperformed a pair of Division II programs currently ranked in the state.
Seth Gard led the way with a 13th place finish and a time of 16 minutes, 43 seconds. Wyatt Cox was the second Eagle to finish, in 64th and a time of 17:44.
Tanner Titkemeyer finished 92nd, with Benjamin Bassler seven positions later with a time of 18:14, five seconds behind his teammate Titkemeyer.
Cole Bulach finished 142nd with a time of 18:38, Tyler Early finished 194th with a time of 19:11. Teammate Mac Altom finished three seconds later in 199th.
The girls team placed 24th of the 34 teams to enter the Division II varsity girls race which saw 193 runners compete.
Sasha Taxter nearly cracked the top 50, finishing 54th with a time of 21:27. Lauren Muncy was second on her team, finishing 92nd after 22:66 on the course.
Brooke Caplinger ran a 22:52, good enough for 110th. In 154th was Nina Albinus who ran the course in 24:45, Destiny Brubaker finished 161st with a time of 25:16 and Isabell Heggs rounded out the Eagles’ scoring with a 175th place finish and a time of 26:21.
At the beginning of the season, McKinney said he challenged his team with the schedule, something he says is important to remember.
“I have a lot of young runners on both teams and we have to take it one week at a time, not placing too much emphasis or over analyzing on any of these early season meets,” he said. “Our goal is to become a stronger team, for the individuals to learn something about themselves and continue to prepare for the championship portion of our season each time we compete.”
At the Brookville Invitational, Eaton’s boys team placed eighth out of 12 teams in the large school division.
In 30th, was Steven Cottle with a time of 19:08; 37th was Blake Whitesell with a time of 19:30; 39th was Cole Whitesell with a time of 19:33 and 56th was Christian Caulley with a time of 20:26. In 61st was Branden Pugh with a time of 20:40; 62nd was Gideon Smith with a time of 20:45; 66th was Darius Benton with a time of 21:10; 102nd was Drew Campbell with a time of 22:02; 107th was Braden Clabaugh with a time of 22:08; 118th was Blake Clabaugh with a time of 22:46, and 119th was Jacob Hickman with a time of 22:56.
The girls did not have enough runners to compete for a team score, but saw Hannah Perry finish 79th with a time of 28:31 and Maddie Meredith finish 97th with a time of 31:01.