Whiteoak sophomore Landen Eyre finished as runner-up and moved on to the state meet, Weston Blair finished 25th and the Wildcats finished ninth overall at Saturday at a Division III regional cross country meet held in Pickerington.
Whiteoak was competing for a chance to return to the state cross country meet. It was mentioned all throughout the meet how it was the best weather anyone could remember at the regional meet and the competitors took full advantage of it.
Eyre blazed one the the fastest times at the Division III regional over the past 20 years. He clocked a time of 15:55.05 for the 3.16-mile course and placed second out of 143 of the best runners.
“Landen put together another tremendous race. The course was fast as it could be and the competition was especially strong,” Whiteoak coach Doug Hughes said. “Last year’s winner finished in seventh place and several state contenders filled out the top 10. He’s worked tirelessly every day for next week’s meet, he’s ready to compete with the best of the best, and I can’t wait to see it.”
Whiteoak’s Weston Blair battled for a 25th place finish with a time of 17:11.
“Weston had to take a month off from practicing and workouts due to some physical issues he was having and for him to bounce back the way he did today was a great thing to see,” Hughes said.
The next four runners in for Whiteoak were the successful quartet of seniors Christian Price 87th (18:36), Bryce Van Hoy 96th (18:46), Wade Evans 98th (18:51) and Evan DeAtley 111th (19:23).
“Those four are probably the most successful group of senior runners to ever run for Whiteoak cross country. Together they totaled 10 all-conference awards, two county championships, three conference championships, a district championship and the first-ever state tourney berth for Whiteoak cross country,” Hughes said. “To say they’ll be greatly missed doesn’t give them their fair due. (They are) tremendous runners and even better teammates and people.”
Rounding out the running for Whiteoak were freshman Shawn Mitchell-Cox who placed 114th with a time of 19:26 and one of his best performances of the season.
Overall, Whiteoak finished ninth out of 17 teams to conclude the second best team finish in Whiteoak cross country history.
Information for this story was provided by Doug Hughes, Whiteoak cross country coach.