A trio of Whiteoak runners — Landen Eyre, Weston Blair and Addy Hauke — earned the right to advance to regional competition Saturday at the Southeast District Cross Country Championships held at the University of Rio Grande.
On the boys side 154 runners from 32 different schools competed in the 3.16-mile race. Whiteoak’s Landen Eyre took the lead at the 1.5-mile mark and never looked back. Eyre finished the course in 16:15, outdistancing the second place runner by 18 seconds. Eyre also won last year to make him a back-to-back district champion runner.
Coach Doug Hughes was elated with Eyre’s performance.
“Landen has worked so hard for this. The people that see him train relentlessly every day know it,” Hughes said. “It was no surprise to us that he was the top runner in the district, but to go out and do it is another thing. He pushed hard the final two miles of the race and gave himself some distance to cruise in. Being a district champion is so difficult to achieve… Landen now has nine district championships between cross country and track — think about that for a minute.”
Teammate Weston Blair finished in sixth place and will join his teammate next Saturday at the regional meet in Pickerington.
“Blair ran a perfect race, I loved it. It was his best final mile of the season and he held off some incredible runners to finish that high. Very proud of him,” Hughes said.
Whiteoak boys had four other runners that tackled the difficult but perfect Rio Grande course. Shawn Mitchell-Cox was 85th (20:45), Austin Richards was 91st (21:03), Jake Ward 95th (21:11) and Shane Mitchell-Cox 132nd (23:31).
On the girls side, freshman Addy Hauke continued her incredible season with a 17th place finish, a spot at next week’s regional meet and first team all-district honors.
“Addy has really figured out how talented she is at this sport. She really didn’t even get going until mid September and then became all-county, then all-league and today the freshman became first team all-southeast district. It’s been an incredible run and next week she’ll give it her all for a chance at the state meet.”
Also running for the Whiteoak girls was sophomore Lexi Taylor, who finished in 82nd place (28:47).
“It’s one of the more challenging courses and for my money that was Lexi’s top race of the year,” Hughes said.
Eyre, Blair and Hauke will run next Saturday at the Division III regional championships on the campus of Pickerington North High School.
This story was provided by Doug Hughes, Whiteoak cross country coach.