WESTERVILLE — Eaton’s cross country teams continued their rugged early season schedule with a trip to Westerville North High School on Saturday, Aug. 31 and came away with a pair of second place finishes.
“We left at 4:30 a.m. to travel to Westerville North High School to get the opportunity to compete against additional state- ranked Division One teams and Division Two state-ranked Heath and Alder High Schools,” Eaton coach Randy McKinney said.
The boys team placed 4th out of 22 teams overall and 2nd overall in the D-II/D-III Division once the results were split.
The girls team placed 7th out of 18 teams overall and 2nd overall in the D-II/D-III Division
The junior high girls placed 2nd overall and the junior high boys placed 10th overall.
Plain City Jonathan Alder won the girls meet with 34 points. Eaton was second with 43. Columbus Bishop Hartley was third with 86 and Heath was fourth with 97.
Heath won the boys race with 39 points. Eaton tallied 55 for second. Alder was third with 70 and Bishop Hartley was fourth with 109.
“It was a good day for our program in terms of team placements, but the most exciting part was the manner in which our runners competed in their individual races. In the varsity women’s race 12 girls broke the 20 minute barrier while in the men’s varsity race four guys ran under 16:08,” McKinney said.
Alex McCarty was the top finisher for the Eagles’ boys team. He finished fourth with a time of 16:06.64. Alex Newport was 18th with time of 16:47.10 and Jack Bortel was 34th in 17:10.04. Todd Coates (17:18.42) was 43rd, KeAnthony Bales (17:40.01) was 62nd, Austin Kopf (18:08.14) was 83rd, Kolby Hamilton (18:11.16) was 90th, LeKendric Brown (18:59.47) was 133rd, Austin Pugh (19:06.98) was 139th and Cole Hauser (19:20.12) was 147th.
For the girls, Lauren Guiley was with eighth in 19:44.20 to lead the Eagles. Cari Metz was 15th in 20:17.50 and Kiera Elliott was 24th in 20:49.49. Kaili Hewitt (21:34.70) was 48th, Maddie Baker (21:55.29) was 61st, Rylie Haynes (22:42.44) was 97th, Rachel Buckler (23:08.21) was 109th, Alexis Owen (23:14.95) was 115th, Stephanie Gibson (23:15.28) was 116th and Allison Mowen (23:59.32) was 133rd.
“Our team goal was compete and try to improve our team pack. The men and women’s team did exactly that by lowering their 1 through 5 pack time to 1:37 (men) and 2:11 (women) which is our best to this point in the season,” McKinney said. “We have many individuals who continue to drop of big amounts of time off their season personal best and many who continue to improve their individual standing among their teammates. We have a tremendous amount of competition for top ten spots among the men and women’s teams.”
Through three weeks, McKinney is pleased with his program’s performance.
“I’m very pleased with the progress we are making from week to week. Our athletes have been challenged with two weeks of new courses and new individuals/teams to compete against. So far they have responded very well,” he said.
This weekend, Eaton will travel south on its 41st annual trip to Lexington, Kentucky.
“We will get to see many of the top teams from across the state of Kentucky, teams from Tennessee and a very good Pickens County team from Georgia. So we get to see new teams from multiple states and compete on a very good course in a very competitive atmosphere,” McKinney said.
He said of Sunday, Sept. 1, there were 41 teams registered to compete in the meet.
“This meet is a good early season meet that helps us prepare for the upcoming Eaton Invitational on Sept. 14,” he said.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH