By TREY BAKER
Eastern’s men and women’s cross country teams put on stellar performances at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships over the past weekend at Panorama Farms in Virginia. The Eastern men finished third with a total of 113 points, following behind Louisville (77) and Virginia (96). With the third-place finish, the Colonels secure an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships for the fifth consecutive year.
Going into the meet, the Colonels were ranked No. 5 in the Southeast region. Eastern finished the meet ahead of No. 1 N.C. State, No. 3 Furman and No. 4 Virginia Tech.
In only his second race of the season, junior Amos Kosgey led the way for the Colonels finishing seventh out of 223 competitors in the 10K with a time of 29:29.3. Kosgey was shortly followed by junior Jamie Perales who finished eighth with a time of 29:30.5. Freshman and reigning OVC Male Runner of the Year Erick Rotich continued to perform well, finishing 16th with a time of 29:55.4. Junior Ambrose Maritim finished 27th with a time of 30:14.9. Junior Sergio Marcuello finished 56th with a time of 31:04.7 to cap off the top five runners for the Colonels.
Freshman Jamaine Coleman (59th/31:08.8) and junior Luis Luna (72nd/31:20.7) also competed in the race.
Following the meet, Kosgey, Rotich, and Perales were given the honors of All-Southeast Region.
The Eastern women also did well at the Southeast Regional Championship, finishing fifth out of 40 teams with a total of 241 points. The Eastern women finished behind No. 1 Virginia (53), No. 2 N.C. State (74), No. 4 North Carolina (100) and No. 3 William and Mary (187).
The fifth-place finish was the best Southeast Regional finish by the Eastern women’s team in the last 15 years.
Freshman Charlotte Imer was the first Colonel to finish the 6K race. Imer finished 24th out of 235 runners with a time of 21:36.8. Imer received All-Southeast Region honors after the meet. Senior Julie Mathisen was the second Colonel to finish, placing 35th with a time of 21:55.5. Sophomore Ciara Scott finished 54th with a time of 22:22.6. Scott was followed by senior Ashley Svec with a time of 22:23.4. Junior Ann Tum finished 80th with a time of 22:45.6 to round-off the first five finishers by the Colonels.
Junior Madison Zietz (81st/22:47.6) and freshman Meggan Grams (117th/23:11.1) also competed in the race.
The Eastern men will compete in the NCAA Championships at E.P. ‘Tom’ Sawyer Park in Louisville on Saturday, Nov. 21.