‘Cats claim 3rd straight SHAC title


Eyre claims claims boys individual championship; Ames all-conference for girls

The Times-Gazette



Whiteoak sophomore Landen Eyre leads the pack down a hill Saturday during the early stages of the 2022 Southern Hills Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships.

Whiteoak sophomore Landen Eyre leads the pack down a hill Saturday during the early stages of the 2022 Southern Hills Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships.


Submitted photo

The Southern Hills Athletic Conference champion Whiteoak boys cross team is pictured Saturday in Ripley (front row, l-r) Wade Evans, Evan DeAtley, Landen Eyre, Weston Blair, Bryce Van Hoy, and Shawn Mitchell-Cox; (back row, l-r) Christian Price, Cody Richards, Austin Richards, Shane Mitchell-Cox, Jake Ward, Linus Wik and coach Doug Hughes.


Submitted photo

Lady Wildcat Claire Ames finished 14th to claim All-Southern Hills Athletic Conference honors for the Whiteoak girls team.


Submitted photo

The Whiteoak boys cross team has captured its third straight Southern Hills Athletic Conference cross country championship and Wildcat sophomore Landen Eyre claimed the individual title.

In 2020, Whiteoak captured its first title in 35 years. In 2021, Whiteoak made it back-to-back championships.

“This year Whiteoak has battled a mess of injuries,” coach Doug Hughes said in a news release. “Cross country is a tough sport and it’s a very fine line to manage working very hard to doing too much and getting banged up. Our kids have worked very hard this season in attempt to attain all of our goals, but every one of our No. 2 through No. 7 runners have had issues during the season that set them back or slowed down their ability to improve.”

On Saturday though they didn’t show too much of any of that and ran their way to their third consecutive league title.

Leading the way for Whiteoak was sophomore Landen Eyre, who “just attacked the course and pushed the lead vehicle to head-shaking speeds as he ran the 3.1 mile course in 15:40 to finish first overall,” Hughes said.

“I think this is the 15th or 16th straight year the SHAC meet has been at Ripley and I think that’s the best time I’ve ever seen anyone run that course. He was cruising in. His most comfortable race of the season to date. Everyone knows he’s a great runner, but few know how hard he works,” Hughes continued. “He pushed 600 miles this summer and his workouts never let up. It’s crazy how much he gets in at practice. He’s working his tail off and reaping the benefits of it. He’s mentally and physically superior to last year.”

Whiteoak teammate Christian Price rose to the occasion with a third place finish out of the 71 competitors. The senior runner finished in 17:19. Weston Blair was back for his first meet in a month and while not 100 percent still managed a fifth place finish at 17:45. Seniors Wade Evans and Bryce Van Hoy ensured the Wildcats would end victorious as Evans took 10th place at 18:14 and Van Hoy was 14th at 18:33.

“Wade ran his best time this year and earned his fourth career all-league award for cross country,” Hughes said. “I’ve never had anyone do that before. My top five all made it to all-conference and it was much tougher this year.”

Senior Evan DeAtley and freshman Shawn Mitchell-Cox ran well enough to displace some competitors by beating their No. 5 men. DeAtley was 22nd at 19:29 and Mitchell-Cox was 29th at 19:53. Rounding out the running for the victorious Wildcats were Linus Wik 35th (20:18), Shane Mitchell-Cox 46th (21:23), Austin Richards 52nd (21:21), Jake Ward 54th 22:13 and Cody Richards 70th (28:55).

In addition to the boys, Lady Wildcat Claire Ames finished 14th to earn all-conference honors.

Final boys team results were:

1. Whiteoak (33)

2. North Adams (62)

3. Fairfield (68)

4. Manchester (68)

5. Peebles (133)

6. West Union (175)

7. Ripley (186)

Information for this story was provided by Doug Hughes, Whiteoak cross country coach.

Whiteoak sophomore Landen Eyre leads the pack down a hill Saturday during the early stages of the 2022 Southern Hills Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2022/10/web1_Whiteoak-pic-1.jpgWhiteoak sophomore Landen Eyre leads the pack down a hill Saturday during the early stages of the 2022 Southern Hills Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships. Submitted photo

The Southern Hills Athletic Conference champion Whiteoak boys cross team is pictured Saturday in Ripley (front row, l-r) Wade Evans, Evan DeAtley, Landen Eyre, Weston Blair, Bryce Van Hoy, and Shawn Mitchell-Cox; (back row, l-r) Christian Price, Cody Richards, Austin Richards, Shane Mitchell-Cox, Jake Ward, Linus Wik and coach Doug Hughes.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2022/10/web1_Whiteoak-pic-2.jpgThe Southern Hills Athletic Conference champion Whiteoak boys cross team is pictured Saturday in Ripley (front row, l-r) Wade Evans, Evan DeAtley, Landen Eyre, Weston Blair, Bryce Van Hoy, and Shawn Mitchell-Cox; (back row, l-r) Christian Price, Cody Richards, Austin Richards, Shane Mitchell-Cox, Jake Ward, Linus Wik and coach Doug Hughes. Submitted photo

Lady Wildcat Claire Ames finished 14th to claim All-Southern Hills Athletic Conference honors for the Whiteoak girls team.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2022/10/web1_Whiteoak-pic-3.jpgLady Wildcat Claire Ames finished 14th to claim All-Southern Hills Athletic Conference honors for the Whiteoak girls team. Submitted photo
Eyre claims claims boys individual championship; Ames all-conference for girls

The Times-Gazette