Top Eagles both earn spots on All-Big Sky team
The Eastern Washington University men's cross country team placed fifth and the women's team placed seventh at the 2010 Big Sky Conference Cross Country Championships, hosted by Eastern, Saturday (Oct. 30) in Cheney, Wash.
Junior Kyle King led the men's team, placing fourth in the men's 8,000-meter competition and clocking a time of 22:10.14. King ran in the leading pack the entirety of the race, moving up to the third-place position until the last stretch, where he was out-kicked by junior Patrick Casey from Montana State, who finished in a time of 22:09.26.
"This was the race of the season, for sure -- top three races ever," said King. "The last two races I have gone out too hard, too early and so I am short at the end, but I just went for it today. That's the best I've felt all year, so I just went for it. I held third place for a long time, then got kicked at the end, but it's OK."
"Kyle ran awesome. There is no other way to put that," said head coach Chris Zeller. "I think his late start has been a real blessing. He has come along exactly the way you want a runner to do in the cross country season."
Northern Arizona had five finishers in the top-ten, including favorite David McNeill, who ran to his third-straight individual title in a blazing time of 21:28.07. Teammate Diego Estrada finished close behind with a time of 21:30.65, placing second overall. Both men averaged about 4:19 minutes per mile.
Senior Bowe Ebding was the Eagle's second finisher, placing 16th in the field of 64 competitors. He finished in a time of 23:07.87. Other finishers were junior Cody Barton (23:42.02), sophomore Simon Sorenson (24:01.98), freshman Connor Williams (24:30.05) and junior Drake DaPonte (24:46.47).
The Northern Arizona men claimed their fourth-straight team title, scoring an impressive 27 points. All seven Lumberjack-men finished in the top 15. Montana State finished second with 56 points, followed by Weber State (99), Sacramento State (134), Eastern Washington (137), Idaho State (151), Portland State (166), Montana (193) and Northern Colorado (250).
Senior Amy Kolin led the Eagle women, as she placed sixth in the 5,000-meter race, crossing the finish line in 16:06.58 and assisting the Eagles to secure a seventh-place finish.
"I'm feeling good, it was awesome having conference at home, having the entire track team here and feeding off of that positive energy helped," said Kolin. "The whole team did really well. Everybody is happy about their performance."
"The course was short so I took that time with a grain of salt. I felt like I was more competitive than I have ever been in a race. I felt I was battling the whole time and never gave up. If I lost track of the people I was with, I was able to catch back up with them quickly," said Kolin.
Other Eagle finishers were junior Stephanie Dye (17:10.07), freshman Angelica Rodriguez (17:33.07), freshman Monica Jaenicke (17:46.98), freshman Micaela Rasmussen (18:26.72), freshman Kimberly Macias (18:33.93), sophomore Jessi Johnson (19:03.16) and freshman Danielle Raschko (19:19.22).
Idaho State's Erica Wendt-Richardson crossed the finish line first in the women's competition in a time of 15:46.55. She was followed by Montana's Katrina Drennen (15:51.30) and Weber's Natalie Haws (15:52.03).
The Grizzlies from Montana took the team crown today, placing first overall while scoring 49 points. They were followed by Weber State (63), Idaho State (68), Sacramento State (105), Northern Arizona (124), Montana State (168), Eastern Washington (197), Portland State (213) and Northern Colorado (237).