Eagles take four of top six places, including runner-up finish by Katie Mahoney
With four of its runners finishing in the top six, the Eastern Washington University women’s cross country team won the team title among NCAA Division I schools at the Inland Empire Invitational Saturday (Oct. 19) in Lewiston, Idaho.
Eastern finished with 26 points, with Washington State placing second with 33. Gonzaga finished third and Idaho placed fourth.
The EWU men’s team was third, placing behind champion Washington State and runner-up Gonzaga. Eastern’s next meet is the Big Sky Conference Championships Nov. 2 in Bozeman, Mont.
“All in all it was a solid day for us heading into the conference meet,” said Eastern cross country coach Chris Zeller. It definitely gave us some momentum to build on.”
Sophomore Katie Mahoney led the Eagles with a second-place finish, covering the 5,000-meter course in 17:17. Sarah Reiter, also a sophomore, was third in 17:32.
“The women did outstanding,” said Zeller. “They took some risks today and it paid off. I was really happy to see them test themselves like that before conference, so that they have a better idea of what they're capable of.”
Eastern had finishers place fifth and sixth, and their No. 5 scoring runner was 10th. The Eagles competed without New Mexico State transfer Mayra Chavez, a sophomore from Yakima, Wash.
“The top five only had a 33-second spread, which will prove to be important in two weeks,” added Zeller. “Plus, hopefully we'll have Mayra back by then as well.”
The men competed without Boise State transfer Vince Hamilton, a sophomore from Spokane’s North Central High School. Chris Schroll, a transfer from UNC-Pembroke, was seventh with a time of 24:13 on the 8,000-meter course. The junior was followed closely by freshman Alex Kimsey from Spokane’s Ferris High School, who placed eighth in 24:21.
“The men certainly weren't as deep today and we didn't run Vince, but there were some solid individual performances,” said Zeller. “Chris tested himself and gained some confidence from it. Alex showed he can run without fear today, too.”
Men’s Team Scoring: 1. Washington State 24, 2. Gonzaga 39, 3. Eastern Washington 63.
7. Chris Schroll 24:13
8. Alex Kimsey 24:21
13. Stephen Bottoms 24:53
18. Isaac Kitzan 25:07
23. Steven Kutsch 25:49
26. Quin Olivas 26:16
Women’s Team Scoring: 1. Eastern Washington 26, 2. Washington State 33, 3. Gonzaga 65, 4. Idaho 99.
2. Katie Mahoney 17:17
3. Sarah Reiter 17:32
5. Berenice Penaloza 17:35
6. Paula Gil Echevarria 17:42
10. Caite Arrigoni 17:50
30. Katie Lynch 18:55
32. Keeley Davidson 19:04
37. Acacia Smith 19:27
40. Kari Scharnhorst 19:40
41. Amber Core 19:49
45. Michaela Chucka 20:04
48. Monica Jaenicke 20:38
49. Brittney Swanson 20:50
50. Lauren Brewington 20:51
52. Rachael Hatcher 20:53
54. Kendall Elifirits 21:25