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GALENA–Galena senior Lizzy Eaton was preparing to return to state during her senior track season, a feat she accomplished two years ago as a sophomore. Due to COVID, the IHSA decided to cancel the state championship series for spring 2020 leaving Eaton and fellow seniors without a chance to make it to Eastern Illinois University to compete at the state’s highest level.
Eaton played volleyball, basketball and track all four years for the Pirates. Outside of sports, Eaton was involved in National Honor Society, Key Club, Spanish Club and band.
Eaton is glad that the team was able to finish their basketball season prior to cancellations taking effect.
“We ended up winning a regional, I was worried we weren’t going to be able to finish our season,” said Eaton.
Eaton said going into track she started sensing that the season wasn’t going to happen. Eaton said it has been hard not being able to finish out her final sport for her senior year.
“My sophomore year of track, we ended up winning conference as a team and I also qualified for state in the 4x200 relay with my other teammates, Mayson, Riley and Julia. Riley and Julia also qualified and Paige and Breya Christopher also qualified. It was a big year. We had a lot of qualifiers,” said Eaton.
Last season, the girls track team once again won conference and had two state qualifiers.
“This year was supposed to be a big year,” said Eaton.
Eaton said they had three great weeks of practice during this season.
“We were really excited for the season; we knew we were looking good,” said Eaton.
Eaton said they were still holding out hope when school was postponed, but when she learned they weren’t going back to school, she realized they weren’t going to have track.
“(The feeling) was more gradual,” said Eaton. “It set in every once in awhile. I started realizing other things weren’t going to happen. Track is definitely my favorite sport. It is hard not being able to finish it. I knew my teammates and I were supposed to have a big year.”
Eaton’s goal this year was to win conference.
“It is a team goal,” said Eaton. “We care more about winning as a team than winning as individuals. I also really wanted to qualify another relay for state. Last time we qualified a relay for state it was so much fun.”
Next year Eaton will attend the University of Iowa to major in mathematics and get a secondary education licensure to become a high school math teacher. Eaton looks forward to playing intramural sports at Iowa as well.