Eagles’ season ends at regional


Girls finish 6th, boys 11th

By Eddie Mowen Jr. - cmowen@aimmediamidwest.com



Eaton’s Kaili Hewitt (front) and Emily Haynes led the Eagles to a sixth place finish in the Division II SW Regional meet on Saturday, Oct. 30 at Troy.


Eddie Mowen Jr. | The Register-Herald

Eaton’s James Baker finished 27th during the Division II SW Regional meet on Saturday, Oct. 30.


Eddie Mowen Jr. | The Register-Herald

TROY — On a muddy, damp day at Troy, Eaton’s boys and girls cross country teams fell short of their goals of returning to the state championships.

Entering the regional meet on Saturday, Oct. 30, both teams knew they were going to have to turn in some of their best performances of the season to advance.

In the end, both teams were reminded of just how tough the Division II Southwest Regional meet is as the girls team finished sixth overall with 142 points in the 11-team field and the boys were 11th in the 13-team field with 233 points.

Only the top three girls teams and 12 individuals moved on and the top four boys teams and 16 individuals advanced.

Carroll, West Liberty-Salem, Oakwood and Cincinnati Mariemont were the top four boys teams, while Waynesville, Tippecanoe and Oakwood (all three are ranked in the top 10 in the state) move on for the girls.

“Saturday was a tough day for our athletes, but a great accomplishment for our program. We were all reminded just how tough and how special qualifying to the State Championship meet really is from year to year,” Eaton coach Randy McKinney said. “A lot of programs would give anything to just get an individual to the Regional Championships, much less two teams in the same year. Our athletes make qualifying to the Regional meet look so easy sometimes that anyone not directly involved with the program doesn’t truly understand how tough it is to advance to the Regional meet and then from there to the State Championships.”

For the boys, junior James Baker was 27th with a time of 17 minutes, 45.40 seconds. Junior Kolby Hamilton was 34th in 17:58.10. Sophomore Bradley Gifford was 57th in 18:42.70. Freshman Tanner Davis finished 60th in 18:51.30. Junior Jaxon Roth was 79th in 19:35.70. Rounding out the Eagles to sever were sophomore Nick Laycox (83rd, 19:48.80) and sophomore Charles Kochensparger (97th, 21:27.80).

For the girls, junior Kaili Hewitt was 26th in 21:23.80. Freshman Emily Haynes finished 29th in 21:32.50. Junior Rylie Haynes was 32nd in 21:38.20. Junior Kiera Elliott finished 41st in 21:49.30. Junior Stephanie Gibson was 53rd in 22:08.80. Rounding out the top seven were junior Lauren Guiley (64th, 22:40.80) and freshman Addison Guiley (78th, 23:33.20).

McKinney said his program has its sights set on state every year.

“Our athletes have set some pretty big individual and team goals and or expectations so when we don’t get a team or an individual through to the State Championship meet it can leave the athletes, coaches and parents feeling a little empty once the races are completed, the results are posted and you end up short of those goals,” McKinney said. “Especially coming off a 2020 season where the girls team and two individuals from the men’s team qualified to the state meet.”

McKinney said a bright spot is all 14 runners who competed at the regional meet return next season.

“The great thing is that everyone who raced Saturday for both the men and women’s team will be returning in 2022. Everyone can feel a little empty right now, but in a few weeks, it will be time to put 2021 away and focus on what has to be done for 2022,” he said.

Despite the disappointment of Saturday, McKinney said his teams have a lot to be proud of.

”Regardless of the Regional results, what a great season for both teams. Two Regional qualifying teams, two SWBL team titles, a Women’s District runner-up finish, two county titles, five invitational championships, three invitational runner-up finishes,” he said. “We’ve spent the season helping several of our athletes work through the process of dealing with and recovering from existing injuries. Unfortunately this is a sport that by its very nature is very physically demanding in both practices and competition. We have a few athletes that I’m going to strongly suggest take some time off and let their bodies heal over the next few weeks. The coaching staff is excited about the future for both teams. They all learned a lot this season and became better Cross Country athletes. We will meet with the athletes individually and in the upcoming week to begin the process of planning for the future. Several of our athletes will be involved in a winter sport, those that are not we will begin to meet with later in November.”

McKinney also wanted to praise the community for its support.

”We had great parental and community support again this season. We are blessed to have that great support year in and year out. The accomplishments of our program are a direct result of that support,” he said.

https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2021/11/web1_ehscc1.jpgEddie Mowen Jr. | The Register-Herald

Eaton’s Kaili Hewitt (front) and Emily Haynes led the Eagles to a sixth place finish in the Division II SW Regional meet on Saturday, Oct. 30 at Troy.
https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2021/11/web1_ehscc2.jpgEaton’s Kaili Hewitt (front) and Emily Haynes led the Eagles to a sixth place finish in the Division II SW Regional meet on Saturday, Oct. 30 at Troy. Eddie Mowen Jr. | The Register-Herald

https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2021/11/web1_ehscc3.jpgEddie Mowen Jr. | The Register-Herald

https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2021/11/web1_ehscc4.jpgEddie Mowen Jr. | The Register-Herald

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https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2021/11/web1_ehscc7.jpgEddie Mowen Jr. | The Register-Herald

Eaton’s James Baker finished 27th during the Division II SW Regional meet on Saturday, Oct. 30.
https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2021/11/web1_ehscc8.jpgEaton’s James Baker finished 27th during the Division II SW Regional meet on Saturday, Oct. 30. Eddie Mowen Jr. | The Register-Herald

https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2021/11/web1_ehscc9.jpgEddie Mowen Jr. | The Register-Herald

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Girls finish 6th, boys 11th

By Eddie Mowen Jr.

cmowen@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr