Eagles Head to the NCAA West Regional Championships

Nov. 5, 2007

The Eastern Washington University men's and women's cross country teams will be competing at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) West Regional Championships Saturday (Nov. 10) in Eugene, Ore. The men will run at 11 a.m. while the women begin at 12:15 p.m.

"The NCAA West Regional hosted by the University of Oregon should be a great race," said head cross country coach Chris Zeller.

The women will be running a 6,000-meter course while the men will be running a 10,000-meter course. The top two teams and four individuals from each race will automatically qualify for the NCAA Division I Championship Nov. 19 in Terre Haute, Ind.

Eastern has three athletes with a chance to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Paul Limpf, Mattie Bridgmon and Samantha Modderman all earned All-Big Sky Conference honors by finishing in the top 10 at the BSC Championships on Oct. 27.

Limpf is a junior from Evergreen High School in Vancouver, Wash. and graduated in 2005. Bridgmon is a junior from Laramie, Wyo., who graduated from Laramie HS in 2005, while Modderman is a senior from Walker, Minn., who graduated from Kenowa Hills HS '04 and transferred from Cedarville Univ.

"Paul Limpf, Mattie Bridgmon, and Samantha Modderman hope to be one of the top four individuals and qualify for the National Championships," said Zeller. "More teams will qualify in the men's race, which will help Paul's chances a bit. All three are incredibly fit and feeling good right now."

Eastern's women's team finished a best-ever fourth at the Big Sky Championships. The women were sixth a year ago and EWU's previous best was fifth on three occasions (1999, 2003 and 2005). The men finished seventh, which was equal to last year's finish.

"Our men's and women's teams would like to make a splash in the top fifteen," said Zeller. "It's our last race of the season as a team, so we're just trying to keep everyone healthy. The work has been done --lots of miles have been run since last June to get us ready for this weekend."

Bridgmon and Modderman were the top finishers for the Eagles at the BSC Championships. Bridgmon had a fifth place finish with a time of 17:58.6 in the 5,000-meter course while Modderman was just 10 seconds behind in 10th with a time of 18:08.0.

Bridgmon finished 69th last year at the West Regionals with a time of 23:08.52 and Amber Nickelson finished 107th with a time of 23:39.91.

Eastern will also be taking Kiri Garruto, monica Prunty, Tracy Kuhn, Whitney Johnson and Nikki Buchholtz to Oregon.

At the BSC Championships, Limpf was the top finisher for the men in the 8,000-meter race to finish fifth with a time of 24:34.1. He trailed winner Lopez Lomong of team champion Northern Arizona by 43 seconds.

Limpf, placed 53rd with a time of 31:49.91 last year at the West Regionals. Andrew Marks finished 151st with a time of 35:12.28.

Besides Limpf and Marks, competing of the Eagles will also be Tyler Justice, Alex Smyth, Graham Vaux, Bowe Ebding and Erik Walter.

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