CARMEL — Seth Eagleson has collected enough medals, patches, ribbons and press clippings to fill an aisle full of scrapbooks.
The only highlight missing from the New Palestine senior’s decorated running career was a spot in the annual final race among the swiftest athletes Indiana has to offer.
Eagleson fulfilled his ultimate goal by qualifying for the Cross Country State Finals with a 15th-place finish at the Carmel Semistate Saturday.
“It’s everything I’ve trained for,” Eagleson said. “I finally did what I set out to do.
“Every runner dreams to run in the state meet. It’s just the highest accomplishment. What more could you want really?”
A winner of dozens of meets the last four years, including regular season invitationals and county, conference, sectional and regional championships, Eagleson had never broken through at semistate, finishing seven seconds out of a state finals spot last year as a junior on this Northview Church, five-kilometer semistate course.
The top six teams and top 10 individuals from non-advancing teams Saturday qualified for the state meet this weekend in Terre Haute.
Host and dual defending state champion Carmel took home the boys and girls team semistate titles ahead of the runner-up Lawrence North boys and Hamilton Southeastern girls.
Greenwood’s David Dalton earned the boys individual title in 15 minutes, 33.5 seconds. Since Dalton’s Woodmen didn’t advance as a team, Dalton also secured the first of 10 individual state finals tickets.
Eagleson finished in 16:02, good for sixth among the individuals and 16 seconds better than his semistate time last year.