October 10, 2007

Eastern Hosts Annual EWU Cross Country Invitational

Oct. 10, 2007

Both the Eastern Washington University women's and men's cross country teams will compete Saturday (Oct. 13) in Cheney, Wash., as the Eagles host the Fifth Annual EWU Cross Country Invitational.

The women will begin at 10 a.m. on a 5,000-meter course, followed by the men's 8,000-meter race at 10:30 a.m. The meet should consist of just over 100 athletes. Each race will have about 50 competitors each.

Gonzaga University, the University of Calgary and some individuals from Washington State University will also be competing with the Eagles.

This is the fifth year the event will take place at the EWU Sports and Recreation Center. Previously, the event took place at the Finch Arboretum in Spokane.

On the women's side, the Eagles are led by senior Mattie Bridgmon, who had a time of 22:24 to finish 28th at the Roy Griak Invitational (Sept. 29). The women's team placed 15th out of 26 teams. Last year, the women finished 26th and Bridgmon had a 63rd-place finish with a time of 22:50

"The women's team ran a very smart race at the Roy Griak Invite in Minnesota," said head cross country coach Chris Zeller. "They went out conservative and were able to finish the last 2.5 kilometers at a good clip."

The EWU men are led by junior Paul Limpf, who finished 30th with a time of 25:12 at the Roy Griak Invitational (Sept. 29). The men as a team finished 16th out of 23 teams. Last season, the men had a 27th-place finish, and Limpf was 45th with a time of 26:03.

"The men had mixed results at Griak," added Zeller. "For some, it was their first race of that magnitude. I felt a few of them kind of paniced. They've had a good week of training since then and I think they'll be chomping at the bit to get another race in so they can have the confidence of running smart going into the Conference Championships two weeks after the EWU Invite."

The Eagles will then head to the Big Sky Conference Championships Oct. 27 in Missoula, Mont.

Last year at the BSC Championships, in Sacramento, Calif., the men finished seventh and the women finished sixth. Limpf had a seventh-place finish in the 8,000-meter men's race with a time of 24:46 and Bridgmon had a 12th place finish with a time of 18:15.80 in the 5,000-meter race.

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