Women have best race of season, but men struggle with injuries and depth
In the final race until the Big Sky Conference Championships, the Eastern Washington University men's and women's cross country teams finished sixth and fifth, respectively, at the Inland Northwest Cross Country Classic at Spokane Falls Community College.
Senior Tonya Turner continued her hot streak of placing in the top ten, with a No. 4 overall finish. She was just two second behind the winner. Freshman Katie Mahoney ran a good race too, as she finished 21st overall.
"Our women ran pretty well," said head coach Chris Zeller. "It was the best race collectively all season. Tonya was right in the lead pack from the start. She never let up. I talked with her afterwards and she's hungry to do big things at the conference championships. I was also really impressed with Katie, too. She had a much better race than the Montana Invite and she looked better than the runner I know she can be."
Senior Stephanie Dye (27th), sophomore Micaela Rasmussen (37th) and freshman Acacia Smith (46th) rounded out the women.
"Steph is probably our most consistent runner on the team," said Zeller. She never lets us down. And Micaela and Acacia both had strong races; they've been running well all week."
On the men's side things didn't turn out as expected. Five of the team's six runners experienced a setback.
Both senior Bowe Ebding (10th) and junior Simon Sorenson (31st) had toe problems flare up in the middle of the race. Junior Drake DaPonte, who is coming off of a calf injury, re-aggravated the same calf and retired after two miles. Freshman Nathan Fall (50th) was fighting an illness, and freshman Quin Olivas (52nd) was having trouble with his lungs.
"It was an ugly race," said Zeller. "We finally had a full team out there, but with all those injuries it really set us back as a whole. Bowe and Simon will be fine, and Quin is going to the doctor's today to see what's wrong. But we don't know about Drake yet. That calf has been nagging him all season."
Senior Graham Vaux finished 14th overall.
Eastern's next race will be the Big Sky Conference Championships on Saturday (Oct. 29) in Pocatello, Idaho.