With a total of 14 returning letter winners, the Eastern Washington University men's and women's cross country teams look to make a big splash this year in the Big Sky Conference. They begin the year at the Sundodger Invitational in Seattle on Saturday (Sept. 16).
On the women's side there are nine returners from a team that equaled their best effort at the Big Sky Championships last year with a fifth place finish. Those returners include, senior Camille Mosely (formerly Gibb), senior Holly Evans and sophomore Mattie Bridgman who placed 12th, 13th and 30th, respectively, at last year's Big Sky Championships. Another returning standout is junior Amber Nickelson.
" Camille Mosely was our No. 1 runner last year and she is back and doing very well," said head coach Chris Zeller. "Mattie Bridgman has put in a really big workload this summer and is looking good. Amber Nickelson is really kind of coming into her own a little bit and realizes what potential she has. She is trying to make the most of it and she has kind of stepped up early on. So those three are really the girls to watch right now."
The men placed fourth last year at the Big Sky Championships, which was their best finish in the history of Eastern. Curtis Suver, a junior from Covington, Wash., placed 13th at last year's Big Sky Championships. Paul Limpf, a sophomore from Vancouver, Wash., also finished in the top 20 with an 18th-place finish.
"Curtis Suver and Paul Limpf are our top returning athletes," said Zeller. "We have a young group of guys but those two really stood out early on. I think those two have a pretty good shot at doing very well at conference. I think they have their sights set on even bigger goals such as regionals and, if they are lucky enough, possibly nationals."
On Sept. 23 the Eagles will travel to St. Paul, Minn. for the Roy Griak Invitational and then they head to Montana on Sept. 30. On Oct. 14, Eastern will host the EWU Invitational in Cheney. The Big Sky Championships will be held Oct. 28 in Sacramento, Calif.