The men's and women's cross country teams traveled to Seattle to compete in their first big competition of the season
Seattle, Wash. – The Eastern Washington University Cross Country teams traveled to the west side of the state to race at the University of Washington Invitational last Friday, Oct. 2. The men's and women's team competed against prestigious schools such as Stanford, UCLA, BYU, University of Oregon, Oregon State, Air Force, and University of Portland. Fellow Washington teams included the University of Washington, Washington State, Seattle U, and local rival Gonzaga. The meet took place at the Jefferson Park Golf Course in Seattle, Wash., where the women ran a 6,000 meter course and the men ran an 8,000 meter course.
The women's team finished seventh out of 12 teams, placing just five points behind sixth-place Gonzaga. The men's team finished 11th out of 11 teams.
Top Performers . . .
The men's team was led by junior Alex Kimsey, who finished 74th overall with a time of 24:36.7. Finishing next for the Eagles were senior Aaron Brenton (24:53.4, 81st) and Stephen Bottoms (24:57.0, 84th). Placing just behind Bottoms was junior Isaac Kitzan, who ran a time of 25:00.2 to place 86th.
The women's team was led by defending Big Sky Conference Champion Sarah Reiter. Reiter placed 16th overall and ran a time of 20:15.6, just 34.6 seconds away from the first place finisher. Following Reiter was senior Berenice Penaloza, who finished the course in 20:47.9, placing 42nd. Finishing close behind was senior Mayra Chavez, who finished just six seconds behind Penaloza to place 48th (20:53.8). Katie Mahoney and Catie Arrigoni were Eastern's next finishers, placing 58th (21:08.0) and 61st (21:20.1), respectively.
Other Finishers . . .
95. Daniel Schofield 25:21.1
102. Austin Oser 26:06.0
104. Nik Taylor 26:17.1
105. Dallas Snider 26.21.7
88. Paula Gil-Echevarria 22:01.7
94. Chelsea Ribeiro 22:14.2
Team Scoring . . .
Men: 1. Oregon 52; 2. Stanford 69; 3. BYU 70; 4. UCLA 117; 5. Air Force 136; 6. Washington 146; 7. Portland 174; 8. Washington State 189; 9. Gonzaga 205; 10. Seattle U 332; 11. Eastern Washington 333
Women: 1. Oregon 36; 2. Washington 59; 3. Stanford 60; 4. BYU 77; 5. Air Force 143; 6. Gonzaga 200; 7. Eastern Washington 205; 8. Portland 221; 9. Washington State 234; 10. UCLA 274; 11. Oregon State 305; 12. Seattle U 314
Comments from Head Coach Chris Shane . . .
"It was a really tough field for the men. This was easily the toughest field we will face all year. Alex Kimsey ran a really good race, he got into good position and finished strong. Aaron Brenton had the race of his life, what I would call his best 8,000 meter performance. We need to get tougher and more aggressive at the beginning of the race. Racing at this level of competition will really serve us over the year. I am happy with Alex and Aaron and how they competed. We definitely have some work to do further along in competition."
"On the women's side, we competed very well against a really talented field. We raced against probably four, if not five, of the top 20 teams in the country with a couple of teams that outperformed their rankings. Washington and BYU certainly over performed. It's nice to compete with them. We were just behind Gonzaga by five points. We are a better team than we showed today. Arrigoni was a little under the weather – when she is healthy she will help our team accomplish a lot later in the season. Sarah ran a great race, she got right in the front of the pack and battled. Berenice and Mayra both had great days. Mayra has batted some injuries in the past so it's exciting to see her finish out her senior year healthy. Katie had a really solid performance as well. Chelsea was back quite a bit but ran a really inspired race after losing her shoe 400 meters into the race – she basically ran 5,000 meters with one shoe. That does something to your confidence as a true freshman. I know that she will have much better days ahead. We beat UCLA, Washington State, and Portland today and I think we are in a great spot. We have two weeks off until we go to pre-nationals and have another great test. The women are in a great position to do well this season and we are looking forward to improving."
What's Next . . .
The Eagles will take the Oct. 10 weekend off to prepare for their next big competition on Saturday, Oct. 17, splitting the teams for two different races that weekend. The traveling athletes will head to Kentucky to compete at the University of Louisville Pre-Nationals Invitational at the E.P. "Tom" Sawyer Park. The other athletes will be staying close to home to compete at the Inland Northwest Classic in Lewiston, Idaho.