Eagles Head to Montana to Face Big Sky Opponents

After a week off from competition, Eastern's cross country teams compete at the Montana Invitational on Oct. 3

In a meet featuring several fellow Big Sky Conference schools, the Eastern Washington University cross country teams will compete at the Montana Invitational on Saturday (Oct. 3) in Missoula, Mont., at the UM Golf Course.

Eastern was idle last week, and will be taking on Montana, Montana State and other league opponents in Missoula. The women compete at 10 a.m. on the 5,000-meter course with the men running at 10:30 a.m. in the 8,000-meter race.

"This meet will be our first chance to check out other Big Sky teams, other than PSU, firsthand," said head cross country coach Chris Zeller. "Patrick Casey from MSU and Lynn Reynolds from UM will be good match-ups for our two guys (Alex Smyth and Kyle King) at the front of the pack. For the women, we have some good match-ups with MSU, so I'm excited to see how that turns out." 

Zeller said the flu has hit his teams hard, but he hopes affected athletes will be recovered well enough by Saturday.

"Our main concern this week is just getting through the flu bug with as few casualties as possible," added Zeller. "Most everyone on the team is fighting it at some stage so far this week."

At the Sundodger Invitational on Sept. 19 in Seattle, Wash., the Eastern men finished third out of eight teams with 95 points, placing behind champion Washington (27 points) and Western Washington (74 points). The Eagle women were eighth.

Individually on the men's side, Smyth and King finished in the top seven. Smyth finished fourth out of 72 competitors with a time of 24:11.41 to earn Big Sky Conference Athlete of the Week. King finished seventh with a time of 24:18.97.

On the women's side, Ari Rios (pictured) finished 56th with a time of 23:47.70.

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