Eagles Claim OVAC Runner-Up Award
The Magnolia Blue Eagles chose the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Championships at Meadowbrook High School in Byesville on Saturday to put in their best performance as a team to garner the runner-up award.
Leading the way was state-ranked junior Alec Hinerman, who ran the course in 16 minutes and 52 seconds to finish as triple-A runner-up and All Conference.
Said Coach John Holliday, “It has been a long time since Magnolia had anyone finish as high in the individual race as we did Saturday. All of our six boys that ran set personal records and were very competitive throughout the course. No one let down at all.
“This is one sport where you ask from the athlete what he can give and that is measurable on the stop-watch. They all left it on the course.”
Following Hinerman across the line was fellow junior Bill Feeney (16:53 and All Conference), James Haught (18:14), Kyle Lancaster (20:36), Kenny Headley (21:13), and Mikal Raber (22:42).
The only girl running in the conference final was sophomore Christa Harshberger who finished in 22:48.
Holliday continued, “Christa ran very fast the first mile and a half, what in hindsight, was probably too fast. She paid for it in the end. But, you know, sometimes athletes have to be brave to see what they can accomplish. She has been feeling real good in practice lately and I know she will learn from this and bring it at regionals.”
The Eagles will not be attending their scheduled meet Saturday, Oct.16, at Cameron.
“Compared to a lot of teams, we have a low mileage philosophy,” explained Holliday. “Our training is very selective, since almost everyone on the team is involved in either band or soccer, too. When we train, we make it count. Along with that philosophy, one has to be very selective about racing, so we are going to get in some good training runs between now and regionals and not race until then. As a team, we are right on the cusp and it will take another good run there to have a shot at going to the state championships.”
The Blue Eagles’ next meet will be on Oct. 21 at Cameron at 3:30 p.m. for the Region I Championships.