By TREY BAKER
Facing a very strong field of competitors, the Eastern men’s cross country team traveled to Louisville to compete in the Greater Louisville Classic this past weekend. In a meet that featured four of the top-15 teams in the country, the Eastern men were able to compete despite the cold and wet conditions of the course to come in sixth place with a total of 157 points.
Freshman Erick Rotich led the Eastern men in the 8k finishing the course in 15th place with a time of 24:20.40. Rotich’s strong performance over the weekend earned him the honor of OVC Runner of the Week for the second time this season.
“Erick is a very talented young man,” said Head Coach Rick Erdmann. “He can be as good as he wants.”
Finishing off the top-five for the Colonels: junior Ambrose Maritim finished 23rd (24:29.65), junior Jamie Perales made his season debut finishing 34th (24:38.96), sophomore Ronald Korir finished 45th (24:42.19), and junior Luka Ndungu finished 50th (24:47.99).
Junior Sergio Marcuello (63rd, 24:54.57) and Jamaine Coleman (59th, 24:52.94) also competed in the Greater Louisville Classic.
“We’re still trying to find our most competitive runners right now and we’re still struggling with injuries of some guys, but overall I think we were somewhere in the middle; not bad, not great,” Erdmann said.
Amos Kosgey, last year’s OVC Runner of the Year is still unable to compete due to injury, but is back training.
The Eastern men will take this coming weekend off before traveling to Madison, Wisconsin to compete in the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational of Friday, Oct. 16.
The Eastern women also competed in a field loaded with strong competitors, facing six teams that are nationally ranked. The Eastern women finished the course with 301 points putting the Colonels in 10th place.
Freshman Charlotte Imer led the way for the Colonels in the 5K, coming in 25th place out of 261 competitors. Imer finished with a time of 17:20.94.
“She [Imer] is a very competitive person,” Erdmann said. “She wants to be the best she can.”
Senior Anna Reddin came in 49th place (17:40.13), senior Ashley Svec followed behind finishing 65th (17:51.92), junior Ann Tum finished 86th (18:00.95), and sophomore Ciara Scott finished 117th (18:15.38) to cap off the top-five runners for Eastern.
Junior Madison Zietz (153rd, 18:32.34) and freshman Meggan Grams (165th, 18:41.32) also competed.
With such a strong performance at the Greater Louisville Classic, the Eastern women jumped six spots in the southeast region to claim the No. 5 spot, ranking ahead of Virginia Tech (No. 6), Clemson (No. 7), Duke (No. 9) and Kentucky (No. 10).
The Eastern women will take this weekend off before competing in the NCAA Pre-Nationals on Saturday, Oct. 17, in Louisville.