Nov. 1, 2008
Eastern Washington University runners Paul Limpf and Alex Smyth earned All-Big Sky Conference honors with top 10 finishes at Saturday’s (Nov. 1) Big Sky Cross Country Championships in Portland, Ore.
Eastern’s men finished a best-ever third in the men’s team competition with Northern Arizona and Weber State finishing one-two, respectively. The women were seventh after having a best-ever finish of fourth last season.
"Third is the best finish since the team entered NCAA Division I in 1987," said head cross country coach Chris Zeller. "We feel good about that finish."
"The women’s team is very young," said Zeller. "We picked teams that we could be competitive with and do well against. Our goal was seventh -- we thought we could pull it off and we did."
Limpf had a time of 23:34.9 to finish fourth in the 8,000-meter men’s race to trail winner David McNiell of team champion Northern Arizona by just 14.9 seconds. Last year, Limpf finished fifth with a time of 24:34.1 and in 2006 he was seventh to earn All-Big Sky honors for three years in a row.
Smyth finished sixth with a time of 23:47.6. Last season he was 13th with a time of 25:08.2.
Other Eastern men’s finishers were Kyle King (15th, 24:34.1), Tyler Justice (38th, 25:42.5), Cody Bradwell (42nd, 25:53.7), Cody Barton (44th, 25.57.9), Graham Vaux (46th, 26:04.9) and Bowe Ebding (56th, 26:35.0).
For the women, senior Amber Nickelson finished 16th with a time of 17:53.8. Last year, she was 26th with a time of 19:04.1.
"Amber is going to regionals in a couple of weeks," added Zeller. "She has just one more race. Her goal was all-conference but 16th is her best finish. She was pleased with that and how her teammates did."
Women finishers for EWU include Brittney Williams (31st, 18:31.8), Stephanie Dye (45th, 18:55.2), Lauren Matthews (57th, 19:43.7), Amanda Weaver (64th, 20:34.4), Kelly Downey (65th, 20:52.6) and April Axtell (67th, 21:30.3).
Eastern's men's and women's teams continue their seasons on Nov. 15 at the NCAA West Regional Championships in Stanford, Calif.