By TREY BAKER
The Eastern men and women’s cross country teams won the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Championships at the Miller Memorial Golf Course in Murray over the weekend.
The Eastern men, led by freshman Erick Rotich, earned its 24th OVC title and its 10th consecutive title. Rotich finished first out of a field of 84 runners with a time of 24:31.4.
Rotich was named the OVC Male Runner of the Year, making it the 12th consecutive year a Colonel has won the award. Rotich joins Eastern’s previous winners, Jacob Korir (2004-07), Joseph Maina (2008), Wesley Ruttoh (2009), Soufiane Bouchikhi (2010-13) and Amos Kosgey (2014).
“Erick has had a very good year,” said Rick Erdman, Head Coach of the Eastern men and women. “He’s a very talented young man.”
Rounding out the top-5 runners for Eastern, Amos Kosgey finished the race second with a time of 24:35.7. It was Kosgey’s season debut after an injury kept him from running early in the season. Sophomore Sergio Marcuello finished third with a time of 24:49.2. Junior Luka Ndungu finished seventh with a time of 24:59.9, and junior Luis Luna finished eighth with a time of 25:06.0.
Sophomores Ronald Korir (10th/25:14.8) and Jakob Abrahamsen (14th/25:35.7) also competed, as well as senior Ben Turner (17th/25:49.7).
The Eastern men finished with a total of 21 points, (1-2-3-7-8), 46 points ahead of Eastern Illinois (67), which finished second in the meet.
“I was very pleased with the outcome,” said Erdmann. “It was a very good performance for the men and women’s teams.”
The Eastern women’s team earned its 29th OVC title and its ninth title in 10 years. The Eastern women finished with a total of 27 points, (3-4-5-7-8), 64 points ahead of Eastern Illinois (91) which finished second in the meet.
Senior Julie Mathisen led the Eastern women finishing the 5K third with a time of 17:31.2. Senior Anna Reddin followed shortly behind, finishing with a time of 17:32.9. Sophomore Charlotte Imer finished fifth with a time of 17:35.2. Junior Ann Tum followed behind finishing seventh with a time of 17:48.8, and junior Ashley Svec closed out the top-5 runners for the Eastern women finishing eighth with a time of 17:49.6
Sophomore Ciara Scott (ninth/17:59.0) and freshman Meggan Grams (11th/18:01.4) also competed in the meet.
The Eastern men and women have the weekend off before competing in the Southeast Region Championships Friday, Nov. 13, in Earlysville, Va.