Eastern Cross Country Prepares for First Invitational of the Season on Oct. 2

Eastern Cross Country Prepares for First Invitational of the Season on Oct. 2

After taking a week off of competition, the Eagles prepare for the University of Washington Invitational in Seattle, Wash.

Cheney, Wash. – Hoping to carry over the strong performances from last week's competition, the Eastern Washington University cross country teams prepare for their first big meet of the year at the University of Washington Invitational on Friday, Oct. 2, in Seattle, Wash. at the University of Washington.

What's Next . . .

The Washington Invitational will take place at the Jefferson Park Golf Course at 3:15 p.m. Other schools attending include the University of Washington, University of Oregon, Washington State University, BYU, Air Force, University of Portland, Oregon State University, Seattle U, Stanford, UCLA and Gonzaga.

"With our first two races out of the way, our attention will now focus on our first invitational of the season (Oct. 2) in Seattle," said Head Coach Chris Shane. "This will be our first big test and I am looking forward to unleashing all of our athletes in their full capacities."

Top Performers . . .

After two weeks of no competition, the Eagles raced at the Erik Anderson Cross Country Invitational (Sept. 19) in Spokane, Wash., at Plantes Ferry. At the meet, Eastern saw strong performances from the men's side as the Eagles placed third in NCAA Division I results. The women's team finished sixth.

On the men's side, juniors Stephen Bottoms and Alex Kimsey led the pack, finishing 15th (25:34.53) and 16th (25:40.00) respectively. For the women, senior Katie Mahoney was the top finisher, finishing in a time of 22:03.67 (14th place).

Although the men's team only had eight athletes compete during the race and the women's team had five athletes compete, Head Coach Chris Shane was very pleased with how his athletes preformed.

"I thought our athletes competed well against tough competition," said Shane. "It was our men's first chance to race the 8,000 meters this season and I am pleased with how they battled. We are still training very hard, so I wasn't expecting record performances but I was expecting each of them to dig down and find the will to compete like crazy. Every man on the squad did that. I was most pleased with Stephen Bottoms and Alex Kimsey – they established themselves up in the front pack early and really battled every second to hold their position.  With a top 15 nationally ranked program in the field, any finish inside of the top 20 is excellent work."

"On the women's side, this race was twofold – get some race experience for athletes who've yet to compete this season, and solidify our travel roster for the next few meets," Shane continued. "Katie Mahoney led the way running in the top pack for much of the race. It was a good race to knock the rust off. The rest of the women all improved on their previous performances which is what I like to see from a coaching perspective."

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