Council pours praise on local athletic achievers

April 09, 2009

April has turned out to be a month of celebrations for Akron athletes.

Akron City Council recognized collegiate and high school athletic achievement during Monday night’s meeting, one week after commending the University of Akron men’s basketball team for its historic MAC and NCAA performances.

St. Vincent-St. Mary High School alumnus and Ward 7 Councilwoman Tina Merlitti offered a resolution of congratulations to the boys’ basketball team for winning the Division II State Championship in March.

Ward 4 Councilwoman Renee Greene sponsored another resolution congratulating Buchtel High School graduate Curtis Eaton, Jr. for a stellar track and field performance at Kent State University.

The “Fighting Irish” of LeBron James’ alma mater, St. Vincent-St. Mary, captured its first state championship since 2003 when they defeated Dayton’s Thurgood Marshall High School with a 59-53 win on March 28.

Eaton, a 21-year-old junior Communications Studies major, was named Most Valuable Player at the Mid-American Conference Indoor Track Championships in March, leading Kent to its first-ever indoor track men’s championship title as he broke the school’s record by more than six seconds running the second leg of the distance medley relay.

He also was crowned OHSAA Division II State Champion in the 400 meter, 4-by-2 relay and 4-by-4 relay; was named champion of the Doug Raymond Invitational in the 400 meter; won the men’s 400 meter dash at the MAC Championships; won the 400 meter event at the Campbell-Wright Open; and was named holder of the outdoor school record in the 400 meters in 2007.

“He doesn’t stop there,” Greene said. “Mr. Eaton (pictured with Council members and grandmother Earline Eaton above) was also recently informed that he has earned a spot on the Dean’s List of the College of Communication and Information. We’re all so very proud of this young man’s academic and athletic achievements.”