CEDARVILLE — In field loaded with state ranked talent, Eaton’s girls’ cross country team finished fourth overall and as district runner-up in the Division II race for the second straight season to advance to next week’s regional meet.
Eaton’s boys will be joining the girls team as they finished sixth overall at the SW District meet on Saturday, Oct. 23 at Cedarville.
“We had a perfect day to race with really ideal racing conditions for this time in the season. We knew going in that the competition was going to be tough in both races,” Eaton coach Randy McKinney said. “In the boys race the top three teams were all rated in the top 10 in the state poll last week while the top five teams in the girls race were rated in the top 15 in the state poll last week.”
The girls totaled 132 points to finish behind Waynesville (66), Oakwood (74) and Tippecanoe (82). All three are ranked in the top-10 in the state. Eaton came in as the 14th ranked team.
For the boys team, they scored 170 points finishing behind Carroll (48), Oakwood (52), West Liberty-Salem (70), Waynesville (111) and Springfield Shawnee (155).
The top seven teams and 28 individuals qualified for the regional meet.
“Both teams advancing from the district championship to the regional championship is exciting and a great honor for our program,” McKinney said. “The girls capturing a district runner up team title for the second consecutive year and the men’s team qualifying to the regional meet for the second consecutive year and the fourth time in the last five years are both great accomplishments for our athletes and our program.”
Kolby Hamilton and James Baker earned All-District honors in the men’s race placing 13th and 18th respectively in the field of 149 competitors.
Lauren Guiley, Kiera Elliott and Kaili Hewitt earned All-District honors placing 15th, 25th and 27th respectively in the field of 156 competitors.
Other Eagle finishers for the men’s team was Tanner Davis was 36th, Bradley Gifford was 40th, Jaxon Roth was 63rd, Nick Laycox was 68th and Charles Kochensparger was 122nd.
For the girls, Addi Guiley was 31st, Emily Haynes was 34th, Rylie Haynes was 37th and Stephanie Gibson was 40th.
“Going into the meet we knew the men’s team was sitting in a great position to qualify on with a solid team race which is exactly what the guys managed to put together,” he said. “We also knew going into the meet that the women’s team was in a great position to advance out to the regional meet and finish with another runner-up team finish. The girls team didn’t have their best team race of the season, but they ran well enough to finish in the runner-up position.
McKinney knows his team’s will have to step up their performances if they are to advance to state.
“The races this upcoming weekend are going to be really tough races for both teams given the depth of the team and individual talent that will be competing in the regional championship races,” he said. “The men’s race will consist of 13 teams with the top four teams advancing to the state championships while the women’s race will consist of 11 teams with the top three teams advancing to the state meet next weekend. That’s what the regional championships are all about so we will just have to be ready to compete and take advantage of the opportunity.”
Eaton’s girls will run at noon and the boys will be on the course at 1 p.m.
Preble Shawnee’s girls finished 20th with 623 points. The top seven for the Arrows were Jaiden McIntosh in 114th, Valerie Whitson 123rd, Tara Halpin 124th, Diana Rodriguez 135th, Sally White 138th, Faith Jesse 145th and Regina Rodriguez was 146th.
Shawnee’s boys only had four runners and did not score as a team. Case Roell was 85th, Austin Tackett was 112th, Taylor Bradley was 129th and Nathan Grubb was 149th.
In the Division III girls race no county team had enough runners to score as a team.
For Tri-County North Amiyah Singleton was 70th and Carley Landis was 118th.
For National Trail, Paige Lee was 73rd, Gretchen Murphy was 75th and Judith Denlinger was 79th.
For Twin Valley South, Brooklynn Grover was 121st and Allison Cole was 124th.
In the boys Division III race Tri-County North was 20th with 510 points. Jonny Landis was 48th, Hunter Pahl 103rd, Alex Mackellar 121st, Aaron Shellabarger 125th, Ethan Brueggemann 155th and Reese Horn was 171st.
For National Trail, Ethan Murphy was 43rd, Caleb Gilland was 117th and Joel Hunt was 132nd.
For Twin Valley South, Aaron Cole finished 54th, Elliott Voge was 139th and Matthew DeHart was 156th.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr