Eagles to get First Glimpse of Big Sky Competition at MSU Invite

Back at full strength, Eastern gearing up to clash with four other conference schools in Bozeman

The Eastern Washington University cross country men’s and women’s cross country teams will go toe-to-toe with Big Sky Conference opponents for the first time this season as they head to Bozeman, Mont., for the Montana State Invitational Saturday (Sept. 21) at Bridger Greek Golf Course.

“This weekend will be another chance to make strides in the right direction as we get closer to conference,” said head coach Chris Zeller, “We still have a ways to go but it will be a great test to see where we are mid-season.”

Four conference schools are scheduled to compete at the meet, including Idaho State, Montana, Northern Colorado and meet host Montana State. The MSU Invite will also give the Eagles a chance to familiarize themselves with the same course that the Big Sky Cross Country Championships will be contested on Nov. 2.

“There will certainly be some great competition with other conference schools,” said Zeller. “We’ll get a preview of the course that the conference championships will be on too and that will be really nice.”

In preparation for this meet, Eastern sat out most of its top runners at last weekend’s Sundodger Invitational in order to rest, gear up and be at full strength for this conference matchup.

 “This weekend everyone else is ready to go and looking sharp,” said Zeller, “I think them having this last weekend off was good for them and if nothing else it made them hungry to get back out there and compete.”

The meet begins Saturday at 8 am starting with the men and the women following at 8:45 am. The men will compete on a five-mile course and the women‘s course will be three miles.

“I’m interested to see if they can keep that pack-running mentality this weekend,” said Zeller. “There’s not a ton of separation on the women’s side so I want to see how well they can run as a unit. The men have a little more separation, but there are still pockets where guys can group up, so I’m excited to see how everyone works together and gains energy off each other.”

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