HEBRON, Ohio — Proving once again the Lady Eagles can hang with any competition.
For the first time in Eastern High School history the Lady Eagles were represented at the State cross country meet, which was held this past Saturday at National Trail Raceway.
Eastern junior Asia Michael battled the elements and conquered the course in just 20:04.44, just a over a minute and a half behind the champion. Michael’s time was good enough to place 43rd of the 142 competitors in the race.
“It was pretty awesome to compete at the state level,” said EHS junior Asia Michael. “Being the first girl from Eastern to make it here is pretty cool. It was tough, really, really tough but it was an exciting feeling and something new.”
Asia finished 11th at the Pickerington regional with a time of 19:56.65 to qualify for the Division III state championship meet.
“We’ve had a lot of talented girls come through our program,” said ninth year EHS head coach Josh Fogle. “For her to be the first on to make it here to state it was exciting and I thought she ran excellent.”
The Division III girls individual champion was Brittany Atkins, a junior from Liberty Center, who finished with a time of 18:31.45. Atkinson was the lone girl with a mile split of under six minutes in the race. Chrstina Seas of Coldwater was runner up with a time of 18:43.14.
The team championship was won by Liberty Center, which finished 12 points ahead of second place Gilmour Academy.
Asia Michael joins Eagle alum Michael Owen as the only Eastern runners to make the state cross country meet. The Lady Eagles have now been represented at the state level in cross country, track and field, volleyball, basketball and softball since the turn of the millennium.
“It was a lot different from my expectations,” said Michael. “There are so many more people here and it was loud the entire time with so many people yelling and I’m not used to that.”
Asia’s fellow Lady Eagle runners, Taylor Palmer, Laura Pullins, Keri Lawrence and Kourtney Lawrence were all on hand to support her on Saturday.