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Ohio mile

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Runners leave the starting line at the Eaton Fall Classic coed cross country run, Saturday in Eaton, Ohio. The meet was an addition to the Fayette County Youth running series, attracting 23 runners from the local program. A total of 70 children competed in the race.
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Everton’s Eli Wright (75), runs just ahead of St. Gabriel’s Ainsley Bodwell (68) and Kennedy O’Toole (67) at the Eaton Fall Classic cross country run on Saturday. A total of 23 runners from the Fayette County Youth program mad the trip to Ohio for the one-mile run. Wright finished 14th, followed by O’Toole (15th) and Bodwell (16th).

By The NEWS-EXAMINER

EATON, Ohio — Opportunities for Fayette County youth cross country runners to work on improving their times and skill continue to pop up in the first season of the program.

The most recent event presented itself on Saturday, at the 2018 Eaton Fall Classic.

A total of 23 runners from the Connersville area attended the event, ranging in grades from 1st through 6th.

Top finisher from the locals was Kingston O’Toole a fourth-grader from St. Gabriel elementary school, who completed the course in seven minutes, good enough for fourth-place over all. Close behind him was St. Gabiel classmate Jacob Richardson (6th-grade), who crossed the tape in fifth-place (7:05).

For the two runners, that finish was a reversal from the Connersville cross country meet, held at Roberts Park on Sept. 29.

Crossing the finish line ahead of O’Toole and Richardson were Carson Leach from Monroe (6:19), and the duo of Lucia Rodbro (6:34) and Fletcher Rodbro (6:54) from Talawanda.

The top runner for the Fayette County girls was Charlotte Latham, the St. Gabriel sixth-grader finishing her race in a time of 7:23. Over all, she was the eighth competitor to finish the race. Among the girls, Latham was third-best.

Alexandria Wren was the second local female to finish, closing her race in 11th-place (7:29).

“Alexandria showed a lot of improvement in this race,” coach Kelli House said. “She finished much closer to Charlotte in this race, compared to her run at the Connersville meet.”

Everton fifth-grader Drew Wright was also in the top 10 in the Eaton mile, finishing 10th in a time of 7:29.

Turning in top 15 efforts was the duo of Eli Wright (14th) and Kennedy O’Toole (15th).

Ainsley Bodwell just missed that mark, finishing 16th in a time of 7:50, but coach House still took note of her run.

“Ainsley ran a very strong race,” she said. “She ran much better in this race than she did last week (in Connersville).”

In total, the Fayette County team had nine runners complete the one-mile course in a time faster than eight minutes.

While seeing so many strong times was encouraging for coach House, just getting the kids back out and running a course was what made her most happy.

“Saturday was very exciting for many reasons,” she said. “This was not a planned race for us this year, so each of the kids who ran today made the choice to add this meet to their season.

“Working with the kids this past week, getting them ready for this race, has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career.”

Chloe Wright, Graham Pflum and Robby House represented three of the youngest runners, all three of them completing the mile as six-year-olds.

“To see them run the entire course was really amazing,” coach House said.

Moving forward, the Fayette County runners will have the opportunity to compete in the USATF cross country series.

In the meantime, House said that she wants to provide some races on Sunday’s to help the runners prepare for that series.

She added that runners should keep a close eye on her website, www.fayettecountyyouthrunners.com and on the Connersville Youth Running Series Facebook page, to monitor when those races would be held.

2018 EATON FALL CLASSIC

Cross Country Run (1 mile)

Fayette County competitors

4. Kingston O’Toole 7:00; 5. Jacob Richardson 7:05; 8. Charlotte Latham 7:23; 10. Drew Wright 7:29; 11. Alexandria Wren 7:29; 14. Eli Wright 7:49; 15. Kennedy O’Toole 7:50; 16. Ainsley Bodwell 7:50; 18. Adrianna Marcum 7:56; 20. Anything Struewing 8:08; 22. Chloe Keal 8:10; 23. Alivea Perry 8:14; 26. Carter Miller 8:30; 27. Sophia Southerland 8:32; 28. Audra Turley 8:34; 33. Abby Keal 8:44; 34. Graham Pflum 8:47; 36. Luke Brewer 8:50; 37. Myleigh Perry 8:51; 38. Maddie Osborne 8:53; 58. Arianna Leslie 10:03; 62. Robby House 10:31; 63. Chloe Wright 10:37.