By Arthur Lewis/Assistant sports editor

The Lady Colonel cross country team captured its first victory of the season last Saturday. The Eastern squad competed in the 5K Louisville Cardinal Classic in Louisville. Some of their competition included Bellermine, IUPUI, University of Evansville, Morehead State and Vanderbilt.Junior Kellie McClung led the way for the Colonels, as she took the first-place honors with a time of eighteen minutes and fifty five seconds.

Freshman Katy Ankrom had a time of 19:13.03, and senior Wendee Embry had a time of 19:18.30. They finished fifth and sixth respectively. The Lady Colonels had five runners finish in the top 10.

“This is a big improvement,” coach Rick Erdmann said. “I was pleased with the way they ran together.”

Coach Erdmann spoke of how about 40 seconds separated Eastern’s second-and fifth-place finishes.

“We set our sights high and stuck together,” junior Kellie McClung said.

The men’s cross country team finished third at the 8K Tennessee Invitational last Friday in Knoxville, Tenn.

Eastern had a total time of 2:14:19.89. UT Chattanooga won the race with a total time of 2:10:22.70. The University of Tennessee came in second with a total time of 2:10:34.84.

Sophomore Jacob Korir led all Colonel runners with a time of 25:46.52. Korir finished fourth place overall. Junior James Machungo’s time of 26:33.00 earned him 10th place.

Junior Steve Maina finished 13th with a time of 26:46.36. Sophomore Cornelius Kipkuri followed shortly after him in 15th place with a time of 27:17.20.

The women’s togetherness seems to be what the men are lacking right now. The men’s struggles stem from their inability to consistently run together.

“There was about a 2-minute split between first and fifth for us,” Erdmann said. “We still need to work on mental toughness.”

Before the Tennessee meet last week, Korir realized he left his spikes at home and had to run in basic running shoes.

“Having spikes makes a big difference in running; they are lighter and grip better on the ground,” junior James Machungo said.

Korir expects to race better next time, vowing to remember to bring his spikes.

“I’m not going to forget them,” Korir added.

The women have this weekend off to train while the men compete at the South Carolina Invitational.

The cross country team’s home meet is coming up on Friday.

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