LEXINGTON, Ky. — Eaton’s cross country program returns 16 runners to the program, including the entire girls team that competed at the state meet last year and four of the top seven boys who competed at the regional meet.
Eaton coach Randy McKinney begins his 39th season as head coach and 40th overall with the program.
The Eagles return All-SWBL runners Kolby Hamilton on the boys side and Kiera Elliott, Lauren Guiley and Kaili Hewitt on the girls side.
Second team all-SWBL last year were James Bakers, Rylie Haynes, Cami McCloud, Stephanie Gibson and Alli Schmidt.
McKinney beleives both teams have a chance at capturing league titles this season.
“Our SWBL expectation is to capture a boys and girls team title. The change in the league alignment format should be very interesting.” he said. “Our primary team competition, with the new SWBL alignment, will be Brookville and Valley View.”
McKinney said he is looking forward to another successful season.
“The athletes and staff alike have many expectations for this season. Our overall goal is to take the experience our returning athletes have from the previous seasons and turn those experiences into positive, realistic, productive results for our program in 2021,” he said. “I am very excited about both teams and the things that I believe they are capable of achieving as individuals and with their teams. Many of them put a lot of time in this summer to prepare for this season.”
Eaton begin the season at the Talawanda Sunset Invitation on Saturday, Aug. 31. The girls team finsihed second with 33 points, behind host Talawanda (29)
Addison Guiley was third with a time of 22:29.9., Kaili Hewitt was fifth (22:49.9), Rylie Haynes (23:11) was seventh, Emily Haynes (23:11) was eighth and Stephanie Gibson (23:25.8) was 10th. Rounding out the roster, Cami McCloud (23:59.7) was 12th and Allison Mowen (27:31.3) was 25th.
The boys team placed second with 48 points. The Brave won the meet with 26 points.
Hamilton led the way for the Eagles with a fourth place finish in 18:16.6. Baker was fifth in 18:24.8. Tanner Davis was 15th in 19:32.4. Bradley Gifford (20:09.8) was 19th, Nick Laycox (20:47.7) was 24th, Jaxon Roth (20:53.6) was 25th, Charles Kochensparger (22:29.7) was 41st and Dominic Isaacs was 57th in 25:08.5.
On Saturday, Sept. 4, the Eagles traveled to the Bluegrass Cross Country Invitational at Masterson Station Park in Lexington, Kentucky. The girls team finished fourth with 162 points in a field of 22 teams, while the boys were ninth with 248 points in the 24-team field.
For the girls, Lauren Guiley was 17th (20:25.4), Hewitt was 29th (21:16.2), Rylie Haynes was 36th (21:35.5), Addison Guiley was 39th (21:36.8), Emily Haynes was 45th (21:50.3.), Gibson was 50th (21:58.5), McCloud was 62nd (22:33.6), Elliott was 63rd (22:35.2), Schmidt was 129th (26:13.6) and Mowen was 133rd (26:34.3).
For the boys, Hamilton was 18th (17:43.6), Gifford was 54th (19:00.7), Baker was 59th (19:08.1), Davis was 72nd (19:26.1), Laycox was 82nd (19:39.8), Roth was 100th (20:20.8), Kochensparger was 125th (21:22.6) and Isaacs was 150th (22:39.8).
Eaton is scheduled to run at Valley View on Wednesday, Sept. 8 and will host the Eaton Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 19.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr