EATON — The Eaton cross country team returned to its faithful course when the runners hosted the Southwestern Buckeye League Championships at Fort St. Clair on Saturday, Oct. 17. It was the first time Eaton has hosted the meet since 2009.
The boys had a second place finish, and their number one runner, Seth Gard, took first overall by nearly a minute of space between him and the second place runner. He finished with a season best 16:07 and earned his sixth straight first place finish.
“Seth is starting to fine tune his race strategy headed into the district championships,” said head coach Randy McKinney. “He understands what the next few weeks are all about and what has to happen to put himself and his team in a position to get to the State Championships in three weeks.”
The boys finished just six points behind Oakwood, who is ranked seventh in the state, and edged out Bellbrook by a point in the race.
Wyatt Cox also earned first team All-SWBL by placing ninth overall in 17:10. Tanner Titkemeyer (14; 17:26), Cole Bulach (17; 17:35), and Ben Bassler (19; 17:38) all earned second team All-SWBL honors while Mac Altom placed 22nd in 17:46 earning an honorable mention nod, along with Steven Cottle who placed 33rd in 18:23.
“Although the guys were disappointed, it was an outstanding league performance. Nothing to be too disappointed about – it’s just another opportunity for our program, especially going into the district championships this Saturday,” said McKinney. “We are right on track and improving while gaining confidence and understanding of our team and individual races week to week.”
In the girls meet, Eaton finished fourth overall – losing out to Oakwood, Bellbrook, and Monroe.
Sasha Taxter and Katie Bassler placed 17th and 18th in 20:47 and 20:50, respectively, both earning second team All-SWBL honors. Lauren Muncy placed 28th in 21:41 earning an All-SWBL honorable mention while Brooke Caplinger, who placed 33rd overall in 22:36 also earned an honorable mention nod.
Destiny Brubaker placed 41st in 23:20, Nina Albinus placed 50th in 23:44, Allison Webb 53rd in 23:54, Isabelle Heggs placed 57th in 24:10, Hannah Perry 71st in 25:55 and Maddi Meredith 91st in 31:26.
“The girls ran a very solid team race against a very strong SWBL field. We have been improving week to week during the entire season against some very strong teams and many good individuals,” said McKinney. We are a very young team, but the girls have become more confident week to week.”
Both teams will focus their attention to the district championships taking place this Saturday at the Miami Valley Career Tech Center in Englewood. The girls’ DII race will be at 11:30 a.m. followed by the DII men’s’ race at 12:15 p.m.
Reach Jeremy at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.