By TREY BAKER
With a field featuring 17 nationally-ranked teams, six within the top-10, the Eastern men finished 14th at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational with a total of 418 points, putting the Colonels ahead of No. 4 Stanford (21st), No. 11 Wisconsin (17th), No.16 Indiana (16th) and No.19 Ole Miss (24th).
“It was good to beat some of the ranked teams that we did, but we still have a lot to do to get better for the upcoming meets,” Rick Erdmann, Head Coach of the Eastern Cross Country team said.
Freshman Erick Rotich led the way for the Colonels, finishing the 8K with a time of 23:55.8. Rotich came in 24th out of 244 runners. Rotich has received this week’s OVC Male Runner of the Week, an honor Rotich has been given four times this fall.
“I think Erick can be as good as he wants to be,” Erdmann said. “He could be outstanding.”
To cap off the top-five runners for the Colonels, junior Jamie Escriche finished 34th with a time of 24:04.0, junior Luis Luna finished 105th with a time of 24:48.5, Ambrose Maritim finished 115th with a time of 24:31.4 and Jamaine Coleman finished 140th with a time of 24:41.4.
Sophomore Ronald Korir (150th/ 24:44.6) and junior Luka Ndungu (156th/ 24:46.9) also competed.
After its performance last weekend, the Eastern men have earned the No. 22 ranking in the NCCA Division 1 National Cross Country Coaches’ Poll, jumping ahead of Stanford (No.23) and Wisconsin (No. 27).
The Eastern women traveled to Louisville to compete in the NCAA Pre-Nationals. The Eastern women finished 20th out of 45 competitors with 571 points, finishing ahead of Texas (No. 27) and Cornell (No. 29).
Freshman Charlotte Imer led the Eastern women in the 6K with a time of 20:45.3, finishing 48th out of 311 competitors. Imer’s strong performance earned the freshman the OVC Female Runner of the Week award for the second time this fall.
Senior Anna Reddin finished 72nd with a time of 20:58.1, senior Julie Mathison finished 131st with a time of 21:19.9, junior Ann Tum finished in 164th with a time of 21:31.9 and senior Ashley Svec finished 176th with a time of 21:37.3 to complete the top-five runners for the Eastern women.
Sophomore Ciara Scott (227th/ 21:55.8) and junior Madison Zietz (284/ 22:29.3) also competed in Pre-Nationals.
The Eastern women are now ranked fourth in this week’s Southeast Region rankings.
Both Eastern Cross Country teams will take this weekend off before traveling to Murray to compete for the OVC Championships on October 31.