TERRE HAUTE — Minutes before the final race of his high school cross country career Saturday, Seth Eagleson jogged a hundred yards or so in front of the starting line. Eagleson’s coach, Daniel Weimer, trotted next to him.
As fans and parents screamed around them, as pop music boomed through the public address system, as Indiana’s best high school distance runners completed their final run-outs, Weimer put his arm around Eagleson’s shoulders and told him to take in the electrifying scene that is the IHSAA Cross Country State Finals.
“You’re here,” the New Palestine coach said to his senior runner. “You did it.”
After he finished in 46th place with a time of 16 minutes and 17.8 seconds, Eagleson reflected on the race he spent nearly half of his life preparing for.
“It was unlike anything I’ve ever done before. It was incredible,” he said. “Seven years of my life went into this one day. I’ve been thinking about this since sixth grade.”
Eagleson burst onto the local running scene as a sophomore when he won the first of his three straight Hancock County championships. Since then, Eagleson has set the county meet record twice, claimed two Hoosier Heritage Conference titles and notched top-two finishes at the New Palestine Sectional and Rushville Regional in each of the past two seasons, winning sectional last fall and regional this year.