The end of an era

The+end+of+an+era

Rylee Martin, Managing Editor

Eaton High School Cross country has been working towards the biggest meet of the season since the beginning of August. The seniors set goals for the entire team at the beginning of the season and continued to push through to meet those goals. Cross country is an interesting sport, because it can easily be categorized as an individual sport, but it is a team sport as well. Head Coach Jaryn Guerra said, “Cross country runners show so much grit every single day. They fight to shave seconds off of their 5k times as they continue to set goals for themselves and smash them, and seeing that hard work pay off makes me proud to be their coach.” Seniors Maddie Robson and Logan Gullett have set the expectation standard for the younger runners to continue the legacy for years to come. Dakota Braucher (23)  has been a part of the cross country family since his freshman year, but this year Braucher took a new role as the team manager. Braucher timed splits, helped runners keep pace, and kept track of times for the team. 

CHSAA hosted the State Cross Country Championships in Colorado Springs at the Norris Penrose Event Center. On Oct. 29, the three Eaton runners that qualified for state, Aedy Barclay (24), Andie Rasmussen (24), and Gullett all competed against the toughest runners in the 3A classification. Rassmussen said, “My goal for state was to get top ten. After being injured last year, and not performing as well as I wanted to, I definitely wanted redemption.”  A few other runners on the team went down to Colorado Springs to cheer on their fellow teammates. Starting off with the girls race, Barclay and Rassmussen came up to the race line with the utmost confidence in the world, meanwhile keeping different personal goals in mind the junior duo trekked on throughout the course. Rassussen finished in 10th place running a 19:18.50 and Barclay finished 81st running a 21:54.7.  Rassmussen said, “Next year I really hope to improve my 5k time and sub 19 minutes. I also hope that in the state meet I could try and get top 8 and see where it goes from there.” Both girls have one more season left with the Reds to leave their mark on Eaton cross country. Barclay said, “This season, I was most proud of my personal improvement. In my freshman and sophomore years, I didn’t really try as hard as I could, and cross country was just a side thing for me to do, but this year, I really wanted to improve and push myself to be better. Not only did my time improve but also certain skills and concepts that I worked on over the season.” 

After the girls finished, the boys lined up to start their own race. Gullett has been the leader of the team since he entered the program, and getting to the state race has become an expectation; the real goal for Gullett has been to win the entire meet. Last year Gullett fell just short of the state title, so this year he has had his eyes set on the prize every training session. After a hard-fought race, Gullett ran a 15:52.10, coming in second place. Gullet said, “I was happy with how the season went. I met all of my personal goals. I was disappointed how State went but I was proud of how I left everything out on the course and did everything that I could.” 

Guerra is also proud of how the state meet went. She said, “During the girls’ race Andie and Aedy ran great times on a tough course, and I know that will give them confidence going into their senior season. The boys’ race didn’t end with the outcome we hoped for, but I couldn’t be more proud of Logan. I’ve never met an athlete who works so hard and exercises so much discipline, and I know he left it all out there.” 

“Eaton High School is so proud of all the Cross Country team and staff after their impressive 2022 season” said Tate Smith (23). 

As the seniors wave goodbye to their last season in a Reds cross country jersey, Coach Guerra has also decided to hang up the coaching timer. Guerra said, “I love coaching cross country and spending so much time with all the athletes, but during the season I spend more time with them than I do with my own kid at home. I had to make the tough decision to only coach one sport moving forward.” All four seniors: Gullett, Robson, Braucher, and Aaron Lampe will be missed, along with 5 year Coach Guerra.