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Whiteoak’s Eyre, Blair dominate at Aaron Reed Memorial Invitational

The Highland County Press - Staff Photo -
Whiteoak’s Landon Eyre, left, and Weston Blair were the event winner and runner-up at Southeastern's Aaron Reed Memorial Invitational. (Submitted photos)
Submitted Article

On Saturday, Sept. 16, the Whiteoak cross-country runners competed at the Aaron Reed Memorial Invitational at Southeastern High School. WHS junior Landen Eyre blazed the 3.16-mile challenging course in 15:55, winning the event for a third straight year and breaking the meet record for a second consecutive season.

Senior Weston Blair made sure the dynamic duo took the top two spots in the 118-man field, as Blair clocked a career-best 16:27.

Coach Doug Hughes was wowed by their performances.

“These two kids were just flat-out dominant today,” Hughes said. “This has been a very popular invitational the past two decades, with many state-level teams and state podium runners. The best time recorded at this invitational since 2012 was 16:20 [Eyre last year], and Landen ran an incredible 15:55 [this year]. That’s an unbelievable time on this course in September. This is not a short course or a fast course. Most years, 16:45-17:10 have won this race.

“Then Blair, a state qualifier as a sophomore, runs the fourth-best time in the last 11 years. This is the best Weston has ever looked at this point of the season. He’s working harder than ever, and it’s really showing.”

Whiteoak’s Shawn Mitchell-Cox and Jake Ward finished 73rd and 74th with times of 21:53 and 21:56. Continuing the back-to-back finishes were Austin Richards (97th) and Shane Mitchell-Cox (98th), with times of 24:03 and 24:21.

In the girls varsity event, Whiteoak freshman Addy Hauke ran an impressive race and finished 22nd out of 75 runners. She completed the challenging course in 25:18 to earn herself her first medal at an invitational.

Whiteoak Junior High also fared well, as three of the five runners earned medals. Natalie Burnett finished 16th out of 64 girls with a time of 16:04, followed by Aubrey Swafford 22nd (16:40), Kenley Juillerat 27th (17:00) and Kylie Mitchell 53rd (20:47). On the boys side, Jaden Fitzgerald finished 50th (16:09).

Whiteoak freshman Addy Hauke finishes 22nd en route to earning a meet medal.