Eastern Cross Country Concludes Regular Season at Inland Empire Classic

Freshmen Penaloza and Thor each place in top 20 in Eastern's last race prior to the Big Sky Championships

The Eastern Washington University men’s and women’s cross country teams capped off the regular season with a ninth place finish for the men and 10th place finish for the women Saturday (Oct. 13) at the Inland Empire Classic in Lewiston, Idaho. The men scored 241 points and the women scored 225.

“I thought it was a pretty solid day,” head Coach Chris Zeller said. “To me it was the best the women have run collectively and there were some solid performances on the men’s side too.”

Berenice Penaloza was the top female finisher for the Eagles for the fourth-straight meet, placing 17th with a time of 18:42. Finishing after Penaloza was Danie Moon (59th, 19:59), Jessi Johnson (69th, 20:22), Acacia Smith (75th, 20:32), Monica Jaenicke (84th, 20:48), Lauren Brewington (88th, 21:06), Brittney Swanson (98th, 22:12) and Jamie Gladfelter (102nd, 22:58).

“Berenice got out quick, pushed herself and wasn’t afraid to compete the entire race,” Zeller said. “I also thought Monica made a good indication that she is returning to her form from her 2010 season.”

Freshman David Thor came across the line first for the Eastern men, clocking a time of 25:35 and placing 20th. It was Thor’s fourth-straight meet as the Eagles’ No. 1 runner as well as his third consecutive top 20 finish. Following Thor was Isaac Seward (78th, 28:16), Nathan Fall (82nd, 28:34), Quin Olivas (86th, 28:44) and Brandon Nobach (90th, 30:22).

“David also got out aggressively and progressed gradually throughout the race,” Zeller said. “He had some breathing problems but he was able to put it behind him and perform well.”

Zeller was also pleased with Seward, who moved up to the No. 2 spot for the Eagles after being the No. 4 runner at the previous two meets. “It was great to see Isaac move up to that spot, especially after a tough week of practice,” Zeller said.

Eastern also got a great performance out of their assistant coach Paul Limpf, who took first in the men’s race with a time of 24:28. Limpf, a former Eastern cross country standout and 2008 NCAA Championships competitor, averaged a pace of 4:56 per mile on the 8,000-meter course.

“We weren’t afraid to take risks today and that was huge for us,” Zeller said. “This was also a bigger meet than we’re used to and I believe getting used to that size along with taking those risks will give us a boost of confidence going into the championships.”

The next meet for the Eagles will be the Big Sky Championships hosted by Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz., on Oct. 27.

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