CEDARVILLE — Eaton’s boys and girls cross country teams are making a return trip to the regionals.
Eaton’s boys claimed their third straight Division II Southwest District championship on Saturday, Oct. 19, at Cedarville University, while the girls placed fifth to move on.
The boys finished second overall with 102 points.
The girls were fifth with 136 points.
The top seven teams and 28 individuals advance to the regional meet, which will be held Saturday, Oct. 26 at Troy. The girls team will run at 11:45 a.m. with the top three teams and 12 individuals qualifying to state. The boys will race at 2:15 p.m. with the top four teams and 16 individuals advancing.
“For the third straight year we end up district champions and we didn’t have anybody in the top 10. That’s not normal. But it was a nice solid team race,” Eaton coach Randy McKinney said. “The boys are upset that Carroll beat them but they’re okay with getting another district title.”
Alex Newport led the Eagles with a 15th place finish with a time of 16:49.50. Jack Bortel was 17th in 16:54.33, Alex McCarty was 18th in 16:57.77, Todd Coates was 23rd in 17:14.04, KeAnthony Bales was 29th in 17:27.29, Kolby Hamilton was 45th in 17:47.81 and LeKendric Brown was 63rd in 18:17.84.
“The girls came in sitting fifth in the standings and had a nice solid race and comfortable fifth place finish,” McKinney said. “We’re still a year away from a district title, but they ran a nice solid race today. We’re advancing on and that’s huge accomplishment. We’re in a pretty tough district.”
The top seven runners for the girls team are made up of two juniors and five freshmen.
McKinney said this is the first time since 2013-14 the girls team has advanced to the regional in back-to-back years.
Kiera Elliot turned in a personal best time of 19:53.04 to finish 11th overall to the lead the Eagles.
Kaili Hewitt was 25th in 20:59.23, Cari Metz was 27th in 21:05.78, Lauren Guiley was 34th in 21:15.79, Rylie Haynes was 49th in 21:49.60, Rachel Buckler finished 54th in 21:56.85 and Stephanie Gibson was 61st in 22:21.02.
“They made a nice solid statement today just by running a solid race,” McKinney said.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or follow on Twitter @emowen_RH