The EWU cross country teams have stellar performances today as the teams split up to race at Pre-Nationals and the Inland Empire Classic.
The Eastern Washington University cross country teams raced in two very important races today (Oct. 17). The top women raced the 6,000 meter course at Pre-Nationals in Louisville, Kent., where they placed 13th overall against 45 other prestigious teams like Colorado (ranked second in the nation), Oregon (fourth), Michigan (fifth), Georgetown (seventh), Stanford (ninth), and other top 25 nationally ranked teams. The Eagles were just two points behind 12th place finisher Air Force and nine points behind the 11th place finisher California. Eastern placed above other nationally ranked teams such as Cornell (ranked 29th and finished 22nd) and Big Sky Conference team Montana State (who finished 42nd). Eastern was just 83 points away from Big Sky competitor Weber State which finished eighth.
The Eagle men raced locally at the Inland Empire Classic in Lewiston, Idaho, where they placed second at the meet with 59 points, 15 points above the third place finisher and Big Sky Conference foe Montana (74 points). The Eagles also finished above fellow Big Sky Conference team Idaho which finished fourth (95).
At Pre-Nationals, junior Sarah Reiter was the top finisher for the Eagles, finishing an impressive 16th overall (20:25.9) out of 311 other athletes. Finishing next for the Eagles was senior Catie Arrigoni who finished in a time of 20:53.9 (58th place), a season best in the 6,000. Seniors Katie Mahoney (who also recorded a season best this race) and Berenice Penaloza were the next finishers for the Eagles, placing 96th(21:06.5) and 126th (21:17.1), respectively.
The top finisher for the men was junior Stephen Bottoms who placed fourth overall with a time of 24:31, a season best, on the 8,000 meter course. The next finishers for the men were juniors Isaac Kitzan and Daniel Schofield who placed 17th (25:19) and 18th (25:19), respectively. Schofield also recorded a season best this race. Junior Alex Kimsey finished just four places behind them with a time of 25:44 (22nd place).
1. Michigan (131), 2. Colorado (151), 3. Oregon (175), 4. Stanford (244), 5. Mississippi State (247), 6. Utah (350), 7. Georgetown (381), 8. Weber State (387), 9. Perdue (441), 10. Villanova (457), 11. California (461), 12. Air Force (468), 13. Eastern Washington (470)
Inland Empire Classic
1. Gonzaga (17), 2. Eastern Washington (59), 3. Montana (74), 4. Idaho (94)
192. Paula Gil-Echevarria 21:41.4 (season best in the 6,000)
218. Mayra Chavez 21:50.8
306. Chelsea Ribeiro 23:17.9
Inland Empire Classic
25. Austin Oser 25:48 (season best time in the 8,000)
31. Aaron Brenton 26:16
32. Daniel Sanchez 26:19
36. Dallas Snider 26:44
40. Nik Taylor 27:50
Quoting Head Coach Chris Shane:
"We had a great day as a team and a couple big performances. Sarah Reiter finished 16th overall in a very talented field from the top athletes in the country. I was very proud of her for that, she got in there and ran a very gutsy race and held pace with the top girls and finished strong. We were 13th overall which is where I would have liked to finish. We were dangerously close to beating some really good teams like California – we were nine points away from beating them – and Air Force who finished ahead of us at the Washington Invite (Oct. 2). They only beat us by two points so it was a great accomplishment. Villanova, ranked top 25 in the country was only 13 points in front of us."
"I am very happy with the way we ran, we have been getting better every week. We are looking forward to regionals and conference in two weeks. We did beat some very good teams like Cornell who is ranked in the top 30. It wasn't the very best we could have done but it was a solid day that gave us a lot of confidence moving forward. I am happy with how we performed and I am expecting us to get better and better in the next two weeks and to have the best race at the conference championship. The team is very motivated to perform and all of them have found ways that they can improve off of this effort today. That is a positive sign, I look forward to the next two weeks and representing Eastern Washington at the conference meet."
On the Inland Empire Classic:
"I am very happy with the way we competed, we ran off of tired legs and we still found a way to dig down and run a very solid performance. Stephen Bottoms had a huge day for us, placing seventh overall. He continues to develop and improve as the season goes on which is a great sign. He has a lot of talent and I expect him to be big for us at the conference championship for us in a couple of weeks. We also had an awesome performance from Daniel Schofield who is a transfer from Spokane Falls CC. He had his season best day today. He has been slowly coming back from injury and has been getting more and more fit as the season goes on. I'm looking forward to see what he can provide over the next couple weeks and at conference as well."
"In general, I thought our men ran very, very well. Isaac Kitzan, Alex Kimsey, and Austin Oser are all solid and I expect them to get better and better over the next two weeks and be at their best at the conference championship."
"Overall, it was a strong showing and a very positive note for both our men and women this weekend. Both teams showed great signs of progress and we are where we want to be going into conference."
The Eagles will take two weeks off to prepare for the Conference Championships on Saturday, October 31, hosted by Southern Utah in Cedar City, Utah. The women will race the 5,000 meter course at 9:00 a.m. PST with the men to follow, racing the 8,000 meter course at 10:00 a.m. PST.