Lady Eagles take 5th at Panther Invite

By Paul Boggs -

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — It was a massive meet, with 20 teams and 248 total runners, but the Eastern High School girls cross country team enjoyed a strong performance on Saturday — as part of the annual Pickerington North Panther Invitational.

The seven-member Lady Eagles finished fifth at Pickerington North, as six of their seven times were all within the top 70.

The meet was a mixture of large and small schools, as Eastern was one of the latter, although the Eagles compete every October at Pickerington North — as part of the Division III regional meet.

On Saturday, Eastern amounted a fifth-place finish with 177 points, edging out both Bellaire (183) and Ontario (198).

The eighth thru 20th-place teams all had 203 points or more.

Liberty Union and Fairfield Union were indeed the top two teams, as Liberty Union won with 67 points, followed by Fairfield Union with 76.

Liberty Union ended up with four of the top-10 placers, while Fairfield Union had two among the top five.

Athens at 119 points and Fredericktown with 123 were the third and fourth-place squads just ahead of Eastern.

For the Lady Eagles individually, junior Jessica Cook captured 13th overall — with a time of 20 minutes and 47 seconds.

Ally Durst was next in 30th in 21:43, while Taylor Parker placed 39th in 21:54.

Laura Pullins finished 53rd in 22:23 for the fourth Eagle score, while the fifth time to cross was that of Kaitlyn Hawk in 22:34 (59th overall).

Rhiannon Morris was the sixth score for Eastern (69th in 22:44), while freshman Lexa Hayes rounded out the Eagle times in 26:08 (179th overall).

Sydnee Mangette of Liberty Union was the girls individual race winner in 18 minutes and 17 seconds.

For the boys, Eastern was represented by only three runners — and thus did not have the minimum five runners to post a team score.

The three Eagle men were all freshmen — Colton Reynolds (66th in 18:41), Matt Clingenpeel (143rd in 20:17) and Eion Marcinko (154th in 20:33).

There were 278 runners in the boys high school race, which was won by Heath senior Taylor Hopkins in 16:05.

Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106

By Paul Boggs