Eastern women fare well in respective division despite losing key contributor to injury
Competing against some of the top teams in the country, the Eastern Washington University women’s cross country team finished 12th in their division while the men’s team placed 27th at the Notre Dame Invitational Friday (Oct. 4) in South Bend, Ind.
The women tied with Eastern Illinois for a 12th-place finish out of 26 teams in the gold section, scoring 320 points. They were led for the second straight meet by Montana State transfer Sarah Reiter, who covered the 5,000-meter course in 18:36.9 to place 41st overall. Team captain Berenice Penaloza followed closely, finishing 46th in a time of 18:42.3. Sophomore Katie Mahoney ran 18:49.6 to place 59th.
Rounding out the scoring for the Eagles was Catie Arrigoni (84th, 19:10.3) and Paula Gil-Echevarria (95th, 19:17.6). Mayra Chavez dropped from the competition due to an ankle injury.
Southern Illinois (52) and Grand Valley State (63) were the top two teams in the women’s gold section.
The Eastern men finished 27th in the prestigious blue section, which included eight nationally ranked Division I teams. Sophomore Vince Hamilton was the top finisher for EWU, placing 116th with a time of 25:57.3. Freshman Alex Kimsey was 120th in 26:01.5. Following for the Eagles was Chris Schroll (139th, 16:14.1), Steven Kutsch (189th, 27:10.4), Isaac Kitzan (190th, 27:11.2) and Stephen Bottoms (192th, 27:12.1).
Columbia won the team title in the men’s blue section, edging Tulsa by 11 points. Eastern got another glimpse of a Big Sky opponent, as Southern Utah finished ninth.
The Eagles will compete at the Inland Northwest Classic Oct. 19 in Lewiston, Idaho. It will be the team’s last meet prior to the Big Sky Championships on Nov. 2 in Bozeman, Mont.