October 15, 2013

Eastern Looks to Tune Up at Inland Empire Championships

Eagles have last opportunity to gain experience prior to Conference Championships

With the Big Sky Championships on the horizon, the Eastern Washington University men’s and women’s cross country teams will be running in the Inland Empire Championships Saturday (Oct. 19) in Lewiston, Idaho.

“I’m excited for the whole group to get to run together one more time before conference,” said head coach Chris Zeller. “The more opportunities they have to run together, the better feel they have for one another once we get to the conference meet.”

Hosted by Lewis-Clark State, this meet will feature several talented teams from around the northwest as well as two Big Sky opponents in Montana and Idaho State. It will also be the Eagles’ last competition prior to the conference meet, which will be held Nov. 2 in Bozeman, Mont.

“Regionally, almost all the teams will be there and we will have a great variety of schools in terms of competition among individuals and teams,” said Zeller.

With only the top six runners for the men’s and women’s sides competing at the recent Notre Dame Invite, this meet will be the first competition in nearly a month for the athletes that didn’t travel to South Bend, Ind.

“It will be the first meet in a while for a lot of athletes,” said Zeller. “So I know they’re really trying to show what they can do after another month of training and being more sharp and fit.”

With conference approaching fast, Zeller said most of the roster is solidified for the meet, but he expects to see a number of athletes contend for the remaining spots this weekend.

“There are a lot of athletes who are fighting to earn a spot to go to the postseason,” said Zeller. “It will be exciting to see those battles and make us better as a team.”

The Inland Empire Championships will start at 10:30 a.m. with the women’s 5,000-meter race and the men’s 8,000 following at 11:15 a.m.

 “Collectively, I just want us to run solid and consistent and leave Lewiston with a good footing going into conference and know what we’re capable of,” said Zeller.

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