Goals remain the same for county XC teams


By Eddie Mowen Jr. - emowen@registerherald.com



Eaton’s Alex McCarty placed 18th overall to lead the Eagles to a third place finish during the Division II regional last year. McCarty helped lead the Eagles to their second straight trip to state last year and will be looking to add a third trip this season.

Eaton’s Alex McCarty placed 18th overall to lead the Eagles to a third place finish during the Division II regional last year. McCarty helped lead the Eagles to their second straight trip to state last year and will be looking to add a third trip this season.


PREBLE COUNTY —Plenty of talent returns for county cross county teams along with hopes of a trip to Columbus to end the season.

Eagles ready to soar

Randy McKinney returns for his 38th season as head coach of Eaton’s cross country program and he has high hopes for both his boys and girls teams.

Eaton returns several runners from a state qualifying boys team and a regional qualifying girls team.

Returning for the boys team:

KeAnthony Bales (Sr.) — OHSAA State Qualifier (alternate), OHSAA Regional Qualifier (alternate), Honorable Mention All-Preble County.

Jack Bortel (Jr.) — OAT & CCC Academic All-Ohio, OHSAA State Qualifier, OHSAA Regional Qualifier, OHSAA Second Team All-Regional, OHSAA First Team All-District, SWBL Second Team, First Team All-Preble County.

Ben Brewer (Sr.) — OHSAA State Qualifier (alternate), OHSAA Regional Qualifier (alternate), Honorable Mention All-Preble County.

LeKendric Brown (Sr.) — OHSAA State Qualifier, OHSAA Regional Qualifier, SWBL Second Team, OHSAA Honorable Mention All-District, Honorable Mention All-Preble County.

Todd Coates (Sr.) — OHSAA State Qualifier, OHSAA Regional Qualifier, OHSAA Second Team All-District, SWBL Second Team, First Team All-Preble County.

Austin Kopf (Jr.) — OHSAA State Qualifier (alternate), OHSAA Regional Qualifier (alternate), SWBL Honorable Mention.

Alex McCarty (Sr.) — OAT & CCC Academic All-Ohio, OHSAA State Qualifier, OAT & CCC Academic All-Ohio, OHSAA Second Team All-Regional, OHSAA Regional Qualifier, OHSAA First Team All-District, SWBL First Team, First Team All-Preble County, Individual Preble County Champion.

Alex Newport (Sr.) — OAT & CCC Academic All-Ohio, OHSAA State Qualifier, OAT & CCC Academic All-Ohio, OHSAA Regional Qualifier, OHSAA Second Team All-Regional, OHSAA First Team All-District, SWBL First Team, First Team All-Preble County.

“It has the potential to be a very exciting one with both teams. Many of the runners have worked hard over the summer while a few are really just now getting started. We will probably see quite a bit of shifting among both teams once we get everyone ready and our younger athletes learn how to compete at a higher level,” McKinney said.

McKinney said the goals remain the same as the past few years for the boys.

“Our goals are the same for the boys team, as in 2017 and 2018, with the ultimate goal of placing higher as a team at the state championships. We hope to defend our SWBL and District Championships,” he said. “In order to accomplish those goals we must remain healthy and focused.”

The girls team returns five of its top seven runners from last season and will also benefit from several talented freshmen.

Back for the girls are:

Briana Baker (Sr.) — OHSAA Regional Qualifier, OHSAA Honorable Mention All-District, SWBL Honorable Mention, First Team All-Preble County.

Rachel Buckler (Jr.) — OHSAA Regional Qualifier, First Team All-Preble County.

Cari Metz (Jr.) — OHSAA Regional Qualifier, OHSAA Honorable Mention All-District, SWBL Second Team, First Team All-Preble County.

Ali Mowen (So.) — OHSAA Regional Qualifier, OHSAA Honorable Mention All-Regional, OHSAA Second Team All-District, SWBL Second Team, First Team All-Preble County, Individual Preble County Champion.

Alexis Owen (Sr.) — OHSAA Regional Qualifier, Honorable Mention All-Preble County.

“For the girls team we are a work in progress. The improvement of our girls team from one week to another, as we move through the season, will be quite remarkable as long as we keep everyone healthy and help them continue to progress,” McKinney said.

McKinney added the program has “a nice compliment of returning runners and a solid incoming ninth grade class of girls and boys.”

Both teams opened the season at the OHSAA Pre-Season Invitational on Saturday, Aug. 17 at Hebron. The boys team finished third, while the girls finished fifth.

“Very pleased with all the athletes that competed in the meet. It was extremely hot during both races along with a challenging field of competition. We go to the meet to get the opportunity to race on the state course and to just get the season started, but we never read too much into the meet,” McKinney said. “I was very delighted with the finish of both teams. I am also very excited about the solid performances of all the runners. Alex McCarty, Alex Newport, Jack Bortel, Todd Coates, Lauren Guiley and Cari Metz had outstanding races placing in the top 30 and earning individual medalist recognition. However, we also had some outstanding early season performances from the other athletes that performed. I’m excited about the potential of both teams – we have a lot of room to continue to improve week to week.”

NT girls return experience, boys to replace several key runners

National Trail returns five of its top seven girls from a regional qualifying team, but needs to replace six of its top seven runner from its regional qualifying boys team.

Co-coaches James and Chris Byrd will be entering their 12th season in charge of the program.

Returning for the girls team are Molly Skinner (Jr.), Lauren Sargeant (Jr.), Halle Osborne (Jr.), Lauren Murphy (Jr.), and Paige Lee (So.).

Newcomers include Ashlynne Osborne (Fr.) and Maddie Harrison (Fr.).

“The girls team looks to have a strong season with key returners in Molly, Lauren Sargeant, Halle, Paige, and Lauren Murphy in addition to freshman Ashlynne and Maddie,” Chris Byrd said. “The team has the same goals as we do every year and that is to compete for a conference title and advance in the post season.”

The boys team consists of Nathan Bottoms (Jr.), Ethan Murphy (So.), Drake Carrell (Jr.), Caleb Gilland (Fr.) and Geoffrey Klein (Fr.).

“The boys will look to replace the six of our top seven runners. Our numbers are lower than they have been and also we do not have the experience we have had either,” James Byrd said. “It will be a rebuilding year but one that will be enjoyable with the guys we have on the team.”

Eaton’s Alex McCarty placed 18th overall to lead the Eagles to a third place finish during the Division II regional last year. McCarty helped lead the Eagles to their second straight trip to state last year and will be looking to add a third trip this season.
https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2019/08/web1_ehsbxc8.jpgEaton’s Alex McCarty placed 18th overall to lead the Eagles to a third place finish during the Division II regional last year. McCarty helped lead the Eagles to their second straight trip to state last year and will be looking to add a third trip this season.

By Eddie Mowen Jr.

emowen@registerherald.com

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH