Cross country teams looking to compete


By Braden Moles - bmoles@aimmediamidwest.com



Eaton’s Kaili Hewitt, Cari Metz and Kiera Elliott all finished in the top 12 to help the Eagles to a team championship at the Bluegrass Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 in Lexington, Kentucky.

Eaton’s Kaili Hewitt, Cari Metz and Kiera Elliott all finished in the top 12 to help the Eagles to a team championship at the Bluegrass Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 in Lexington, Kentucky.


PREBLE COUNTY — County cross country teams will begin their seasons this weekend, and with that comes high expectations for some schools.

Eaton returning strong teams from 2019

After finishing runner-up in the SWBL last season, the Eagles return plenty of experience on the boys and girls teams and will look to improve their positioning this year.

Coach Randy McKinney said that the Eagles boys team return a strong top five after graduating seven seniors from the 2019 squad.

These student-athletes include:

Senior Jack Bortel: OHSAA Regional Qualifier, OHSAA Second Team All-Regional, OHSAA First Team All-District, SWBL Second Team, First Team All-Preble County – two time OHSAA State Qualifier, three-year varsity.

Sophomore Kolby Hamilton: OHSAA Regional Qualifier, OHSAA Second Team All-District, SWBL Second Team, First Team All-Preble County, three-year varsity.

Senior Austin Kopf: OHSAA Regional Qualifier, First Team All-Preble County, one-year varsity.

Senior Logan Cottle: OHSAA Regional Alternate, three-year varsity.

Senior Cole Hauser: OHSAA Regional Alternate, three-year varsity.

“These five young men have worked hard all spring/summer long to prepare for the upcoming season,” he said. “They bring a lot of experience and leadership with them for the upcoming season. We have several underclassmen that I believe will step in and round out the top 10 rather well. We are excited and looking forward to the 2020 season.”

McKinney said that the Lady Eagles return most of their top 10 runners after losing two seniors to graduation, and that they have two freshman who he believes will add to an already experienced team from 2019.

The girls team will feature the following student-athletes:

Senior Rachel Buckler: OHSAA Regional Qualifier, OHSAA Honorable Mention All-District, First Team All-Preble County, three-year varsity.

Sophomore Kiera Elliott: OHSAA Regional Qualifier, OHSAA Second Team All-Regional, OHSAA First Team All-District, SWBL First Team, First Team All-Preble County, one-year varsity.

Sophomore Stephanie Gibson: OHSAA Regional Qualifier, First Team All-Preble County, one-year varsity.

Sophomore Lauren Guiley: OHSAA Regional Qualifier, OHSAA Second Team All-District, SWBL Second Team, First Team All-Preble County, one-year varsity.

Sophomore Rylie Haynes: OHSAA Regional Qualifier, OHSAA Honorable Mention All-District, SWBL Second Team, First Team All-Preble County, one-year varsity.

Sophomore Kalie Hewitt: OHSAA Regional Qualifier, OHSAA Honorable Mention All-Regional, OHSAA First Team All-District, SWBL First Team, First Team All-Preble County, one-year varsity.

Senior Cari Metz: OHSAA Regional Qualifier, OHSAA Honorable Mention All-Regional, OHSAA First Team All-District, SWBL First Team, First Team All-Preble County, Individual Preble County Champion, three-year varsity.

Junior Ali Mowen: OHSAA Regional Qualifier (alternate), Honorable Mention All- Preble County, two-year varsity.

“I believe there will be some intense competition for top 10 varsity spots this season which will only make this team even better,” he said. “We are super excited about the possibilities of this young, talented and experienced team for this season.”

Both the boys and girls teams were regional qualifiers and SWBL runner-up last season, and McKinney said they would like to improve on both of those accomplishments.

“I believe it is best to simply say that we have high expectations for both teams this season,” he said. “We have a lot of returning talent and experience with both teams. Our key is to remain healthy and progress weekly as we prepare for the championship portion of the season in October.”

Trail has high expectations

National Trail coach James Byrd said that the goal for this season is to compete as much as they can in this “weird time” they are in and to ensure that the seniors have a great season with their teammates.

“We don’t want the current circumstances to take our joy away from what has been a memorable five years with this group, and year six should be just as memorable for what we accomplish, the fun that we have, and the love we have for one another,” he said.

Returning runners for the boys include Ethan Murphy, Joel Hunt, Caleb Gilland, Nathan Bottoms and Drake Carrell. Parker Webb is a newcomer for the Blazers.

“Boys would like to compete for a top five spot in the conference,” Byrd said.

Returning runners for the girls include Molly Skinner, Halle Osborne, Laurn Murphy, Emma Johnson, Ashlynne Osborne, Paige Lee and Maddie Harrison, with Gretchen Murphy joining the team as well.

“Girls look to be a top contender for the conference,” Byrd said. “It is a tough group at the top with multiple teams returning very strong runners.”

In short?

“Let them run,” he said.

North returns hard-working team

Tri-County North coach Tim Martin said that all of North’s starters are returning in addition to the incoming freshman.

“Don’t know what my expectations are,” he said.

North’s team smaller than normal this year due to COVID-19, he said.

“All I know is this is a hard working team,” he said. “Adversity breeds strength, so I’m just going to train with them and let them go.”

Eaton’s Kaili Hewitt, Cari Metz and Kiera Elliott all finished in the top 12 to help the Eagles to a team championship at the Bluegrass Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 in Lexington, Kentucky.
https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2020/08/web1_ehsgxc1.jpgEaton’s Kaili Hewitt, Cari Metz and Kiera Elliott all finished in the top 12 to help the Eagles to a team championship at the Bluegrass Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 in Lexington, Kentucky.

By Braden Moles

bmoles@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles

Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles