By Jonathan Stark

It’s as if the last nine months never happened. Like the cross-country season never ended. Like Eastern didn’t lose one of its best runners of all time.Friday, the Colonels beat Marshall’s Thundering Herd in the season-opening EKU vs. Marshall relays.

The only home event of the season was held at EKU’s Wood Chip Trail. The men ran two two-mile legs, while the women ran one two-mile leg.

Eastern newcomer and JUCO transfer Evan Kiptoo won the men’s event with a time of 18:31.8 (9:16.4, 9:15.4). Eastern senior Joseph Maina took second place with a time of 18:34.6 and Colonel Stanley Mugo took third.

The men had four other runners finish in the top 10.

For the women, senior Barbra Phelan finished third with a time of 11:58.5. Ashli Joseph, Maria Doerger and Kat Pagano of Eastern took fourth through sixth, respectively.

The Colonels will be running again Sept. 13 in Memphis, Tenn. at the Memphis Classic.