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Men's Cross Country is Preseason #1 in the Southeast Region

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Men’s Cross Country is Preseason #1 in the Southeast Region

Posted on 29 August 2016 by Bret Shroats

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Richmond, KY – The Eastern Kentucky Colonels men’s Cross Country team was picked #1 in the first poll released by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

The Colonels are positioned ahead of such regional rivals as Virginia (No. 2), Louisville (No. 3), Furman (No. 4), N.C. State (No. 5), Virginia Tech (No. 6), North Carolina (No. 7), Duke (No. 8) and Kentucky (No. 10).

The Colonels return all seven of their top runners from that squad, including seniors Jaime Escriche (2015 All-American), Amos Kosgey (2015 NCAA All-Southeast Region performer), Ambrose Maritim (2016 regional qualifier in the 5,000 meters – 14:09) and Luis Luna (2016 regional qualifier in the 5,000 meters – 14:03), juniors Jakob Dybdal Abrahamsen (2016 second team All-American in the 3,000-meter steeplechase – 8:34), Jamaine Coleman (2016 regional qualifier in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (8:55) and Sergio Mena (2015 first team All-OVC performer in cross country) and sophomore Erick Rotich (2015 OVC Cross Country Runner of the year and 2016 regional qualifier in the 5,000 meters – 14:05).

The Colonels went on to finish 17th at the NCAA Championships last fall, the second-highest national finish in program history. EKU is one of only 10 schools to qualify for the NCAA Championships each of the last five years, along with BYU, Colorado, Iona, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Syracuse, Texas and Tulsa.

EKU has only won the NCAA Southeast Region once, in 2013. The Colonels finished as region runner-up in 2011 and 2012.

The EKU women were also featured in the USTFCCCA Southeast Region rankings, coming in at No. 9.

The women’s team finished fifth at last year’s regional meet – its highest finish in well over a decade; however, the Colonels lost three of their top five runners in Julie Mathisen, Ashley Svec and Anna Reddin.

EKU does return its top runner in sophomore Charlotte Imer, as well as senior Ann Tum, a two-time first team All-OVC performer. Senior Madison Zeitz (sixth on the team, 81st overall at 2015 NCAA Southeast Regional), juniors Ciara Scott (2016 OVC silver medalist in the 3,000-meter steeplechase) and Haley Yost (fifth in the mile at 2016 OVC Indoor Championships) and sophomore Meggan Grams (fourth in the mile at the 2016 OVC Indoor Championships) are expected to step into more prominent roles this fall.

The Colonels are ranked just behind Kentucky (No. 7) and Louisville (No. 8) and just ahead of the likes of Clemson (No. 11), Duke (No. 12) and North Carolina (No. 13). N.C. State is the favorite to win the Southeast on the women’s side.

The men’s and women’s cross country teams open the season this Friday, September 2, at Morehead State’s Eagle Opener.

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Terre Haute-Bound! EKU Men, Eason Receive At-Large Bids to NCAA Championships

Posted on 15 November 2014 by admin

Senior Sean Vandermosten's key performance on Friday sparked EKU to its fourth consecutive berth in the NCAA Championships

Senior Sean Vandermosten’s key performance on Friday sparked EKU to its fourth consecutive berth in the NCAA Championships

RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s cross country team received an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships on Saturday. Women’s senior Ann Eason also received an individual at-large bid to the premiere event in all of college cross country, which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 22, in Terre Haute, Indiana.

The EKU men’s team was one of the final teams to qualify for the national championships. The Colonels finished fourth at the NCAA Southeast Regional on Friday in Louisville, upsetting North Carolina State (ranked No. 2 in the region) in the process.

Four years ago, EKU had never sent a men’s team to the NCAA Championships. Now, the Colonels have qualified in four consecutive years.

This is the first year, however, that Eastern has made it as an at-large team. The Colonels auto-qualified by finishing second in the region in 2011 and 2012 and winning the region in 2013.

EKU will join an elite list of schools in Terre Haute. Automatic qualifiers include: Syracuse and Providence (Northeast Region), Villanova and Georgetown (Mid-Atlantic Region), Virginia and Furman (Southeast Region), Wisconsin and Michigan State (Great Lakes Region), Oklahoma State and Tulsa (Midwest Region), Mississippi and Florida State (South Region), Colorado and Northern Arizona (Mountain Region), Arkansas and Texas (South-Central Region) and Oregon and Portland (West Region).

EKU’s fellow at-large teams include: Iona, Stanford, UCLA, Washington, Michigan, BYU, Indiana, Southern Utah, Colorado State, UTEP, New Mexico and North Carolina.

Senior Ole Hesselbjerg was the catalyst of the Colonels’ run to the national championships. The Danish All-American placed fifth out of 231 runners at yesterday’s regional with a 10K time of 30:19.0. It was the first time Hesselbjerg had been EKU’s top runner at any race this season.

Sophomores Amos Kosgey and Ambrose Maritim rounded out Eastern’s strong top-three at the meet. Kosgey placed 10th in 30:26.8 while Maritim was 16th in 30:35.8.

Senior Sean Vandermosten may have been the key to the Colonels’ fourth-place finish. The native Kentuckian made up 19 spots over the final 7,000 meters of the race to finish 31st overall with a time of 31:01.9. Sophomore Luka Ndungu was EKU’s fifth runner, placing 45th with a time of 31:16.8.

This is Eason’s first trip to Terre Haute. The senior All-American from Lexington, Kentucky is only the second EKU women and seventh OVC woman ever to qualify as individual for the NCAA Championships. EKU’s Lydia Kosgei was the last to do so back in 2011.

Eason placed 16th out of 257 runners at Friday’s Southeast Regional to punch her ticket to the dance. She covered the 6K course in 20:43.8 and earned All-Southeast Region honors for the first time in her decorated career.

Eason’s performance led the EKU women to a seventh-place finish at the regional. That is the women’s team’s best regional finish in at least the last 10 years.

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EKU Men Fourth, Women Seventh at NCAA Southeast Regional

Posted on 14 November 2014 by admin

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Senior Ann Eason finished 16th on Friday in the women’s race to earn NCAA All-Southeast Region honors.

 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s cross country team finished fourth while the women’s team finished seventh at the NCAA Southeast Region Championships at E.P. ‘Tom’ Sawyer Park on Friday afternoon.

The EKU men entered the meet ranked No. 5 in the region but scored 107 points to upend No. 2 N.C. State and keep hopes alive for an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships. It would be the Colonels’ fourth consecutive trip to Terre Haute.

Virginia won the men’s race with 75 points, edging upstart Furman (79) by a mere four points. Virginia and Furman both captured automatic NCAA bids. North Carolina placed third with 87 points.

Eastern defeated such notable teams as N.C. State (5th), Virginia Tech (6th), Louisville (8th), Kentucky (9th) and Wake Forest (10th).

EKU was led by senior Ole Hesselbjerg, who had not been the team’s top runner at any race this season. The steeplechase All-American rose to the occasion in another big race, though, as he finished fifth out of 231 runners with a 10K time of 30:19.0.

Junior Amos Kosgey and sophomore Ambrose Maritim rounded out Eastern’s strong top-three at the meet. Kosgey placed 10th in 30:26.8 while Maritim was 16th in 30:35.8.

Hesselbjerg, Kosgey and Maritim all earned NCAA All-Southeast Region honors following the meet.

Senior Sean Vandermosten finished with a flurry, rising 19 spots from the 3K mark to finish 31st in a time of 31:01.9. Sophomore Luka Ndungu rounded out the Colonels’ top-five with a 45th-place finish in 31:16.8.

Freshmen Jakob Abrahamsen (55th / 31:29.1) and Ronald Korir (81st / 31:56.6) also competed on Friday.

The EKU women’s team was ranked No. 8 in the region but finished seventh on Friday with 230 points. William and Mary won the women’s race with 74 points, followed by Virginia (82), North Carolina (94) and Virginia Tech (97). The Colonels defeated such notables as Wake Forest (9th), Louisville (10th) and Kentucky (12th).

Senior Ann Eason paced the Colonels, finishing 16th out of 257 runners with a 6K time of 20:43.8. In doing so, the Lexington, Ky. native earned NCAA All-Southeast Region honors for the first time in her career.

Fellow senior Una Britton was second on the team and 43rd overall with a time of 21:16.7, followed by sophomore Ann Tum (50th / 21:20.9), junior Julie Mathisen (60th / 21:36.4) and junior Ashley Svec (64th / 21:37.9).

Junior Anna Reddin (65th / 21:38.0) and freshman Ciara Scott (134th / 22:39.2) also competed at the meet.

At-large teams and individuals will be announced in the coming days.

The NCAA Championships will take place at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind. on Saturday, Nov. 22.

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Eason Named an OVC Scholar-Athlete Award Winner

Posted on 14 November 2014 by admin

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BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Eastern Kentucky University senior cross country / track and field student-athlete Ann Eason has been selected as one of the six individuals to receive the prestigious Ohio Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete Award for 2014-15.

The award is the highest individual honor that can be earned by OVC student-athletes, and is given annually to three men and three women student-athletes of junior or senior status for their accomplishments in both the classroom and athletic arena, and because of their leadership qualities.

Eason has been named the OVC Female Cross Country Athlete of the Year and led the EKU women’s cross country team to the OVC title the last three seasons. The Lexington, Ky. native was also named the OVC Female Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year last spring after breaking the EKU 5,000 meters record (16:03.87) and winning the 5,000 and 1,500 meters at the OVC Outdoor Championships. As a sophomore in 2012, she was named a second team All-American after finishing ninth in the 5,000 meters (16:06.11) at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore.

In the classroom, Eason has earned a 3.96 grade point average in elementary education. She was voted a Capital One second team Academic All-American by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) last year. Eason has also been an OVC Medal of Honor recipient, a member of the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and Dean’s List and a Colonel Scholar. In addition, she is a member of the Chi Alpha Sigma National Honor Society.

A member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Eason has been a volunteer with the Pack the Track for Diabetes Awareness event, worked with the Penny Wars collection for the Ronald McDonald House Charities and helped raise money for the OVC Hoops For Heroes campaign.

Eason is the first EKU student-athlete to be named an OVC Scholar-Athlete Award winner since football offensive lineman Patrick Ford in 2011-12.

The other award winners were: Alison Alcott of Belmont (soccer), Jason Blum of Southeast Missouri (baseball), Cori Harris of SIUE (volleyball), J.J. Mann of Belmont (basketball) and Aleksas Tverijonas of Austin Peay (tennis).

The six winners were selected from a group of 22 finalists by a vote of OVC Faculty Athletics Representatives. Honorees must have performed athletically with distinction, earned at least a 3.25 grade point average and conducted themselves in a manner which has brought credit to the student-athlete, his or her institution, intercollegiate athletics and the OVC. The award is based on academic and athletic criteria/accomplishments achieved during the 2013-14 school year.

Eason and the rest of the EKU cross country teams will compete at the NCAA Southeast Region Championships on Friday at E.P. ‘Tom’ Sawyer Park in Louisville.

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EKU Men’s Cross Country Wins First-Ever NCAA Southeast Region Title

Posted on 15 November 2013 by admin

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EARLYSVILLE, Va. – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s cross country team won the NCAA Southeast Regional for the first time in program history on Friday afternoon at Panorama Farms.

EKU – ranked No. 17 in the country entering Friday’s meet – will advance to the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. for the third consecutive year.

The Colonels, who had finished second at the regional the last two seasons, placed six runners in the top-21 to finish with 58 points and easily defeat the likes of Virginia (96 points), North Carolina State (101 points) and North Carolina (137). Virginia Tech (167 points), William & Mary (232 points), Louisville (236 points), Duke (253 points), High Point (264 points) and Liberty (273 points) rounded out the men’s top-10. In-state rival Kentucky placed 12th (336 points).

Senior Soufiane Bouchikhi – last year’s Southeast Region individual champion – led EKU on Friday, finishing third out of 239 runners and covering the 10K course in a time of 28:43.6. Fellow senior Wade Meddles was second on the team and sixth overall with a time of 28:56.4. Sophomore Thijs Nijhuis (13th / 29:31.0), freshman Ambrose Maritim (17th / 29:37.4) and junior Ben Toroitich (19th / 29:40.7) rounded out the Colonels’ top five.

Junior Ole Hesselbjerg (21st / 29:43.6) and senior Erwin Leysen (70th / 30:53.9) also competed for EKU.

The EKU women finished 12th out of 38 teams on Friday. Senior Una Britton – the Ohio Valley Conference individual champion two Saturdays ago – led the way for the Colonels, placing 34th out of 265 competitors with a 6K time of 21:24.4. Sophomore Cecile Chevillard finished 52nd with a time of 21:47.2, while junior Anna Reddin was 71st with a time of 22:09.4 Junior Ann Eason – EKU’s top runner throughout the fall – ran through the injury that sidelined her for the OVC Championships two weeks ago to finish 78th with a time of 22:13.7. Sophomore Ashley Svec rounded out EKU’s top five with a 119th-place finish in a time of 22:46.8.

Senior Hannah Miller (129th / 22:49.7) and freshman Madison Zeitz (131st / 22:54.3) also competed for the EKU women.

Host Virginia won the women’s title on Friday with 57 points.

The NCAA Championships will take place at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute on Saturday, Nov. 23.

-via EKUSports.com

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Colonel cross country teams tabbed to win OVC

Colonel cross country teams tabbed to win OVC

Posted on 19 August 2010 by admin

The Eastern Kentucky Men’s and Women’s cross country teams have been predicted to win the Ohio Valley Conference titles for the 2010 season. The men’s team captured its 18th title last season while the women’s team captured its 24th OVC title in the program’s history.
Both the men’s team and the women’s came away with 81 points and 9 first place votes. The votes come from the league head coaches.
The men’s team will be looking to replace defending OVC Champion, Wesley Ruttoh but return Chris Rice who placed ninth in the OVC last year. Along with Rice the Colonels return Alex Dreyer who placed 12th and Daniel Jones who finished 13th.
For the women, three of the top four finishers from last season are returning including OVC Freshman of the Year, Picoty Leitich who also captured the women’s OVC title last season with a time of 19:29:05 a good 13 seconds of the second place finisher. She was the first freshman to win the OVC since 2002. The Lady Colonels also return seniors Sylvia Bundotich and Katherine Pagano who placed third and fourth respectively from last year.

2010 OVC MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
(as voted on by the OVC head cross country coaches)

1. Eastern Kentucky (9 first-place votes) – 81
2. Southeast Missouri (1) – 68
Eastern Illinois – 68
4. Jacksonville State – 55
5. Morehead State – 50
6. Tennessee Tech – 34
7. UT Martin – 33
8. Austin Peay – 28
9. Murray State – 21
10. Tennessee State – 12
(Teams awarded 9 points for a first-place vote, 8 for second, etc.)

Top 10 Men’s Cross Country Returnees (Based on Finish at 2009 OVC Championship)
Runner                                                                  Yr.           2009 Finish (Time)

George Kiplagat, Jacksonville State                Sr.           6th (26:14.18)
Jason Lumpkin, Southeast Missouri               Sr.           8th (26:44.40)
Chris Rice, Eastern Kentucky                           Jr.            9th (26:50.16)
James Bowens, Morehead State                     Sr.           11th (26:54.17)
Alex Dreyer, Eastern Kentucky                          Jr.            12th (26:55.30)
Daniel Jones, Eastern Kentucky                      So.          13th (27:01.01)

Matt Feldhake, Eastern Illinois                         Jr.            14th (27:06.13)
Sam Taylor, Tennessee Tech                          Sr.           16th (27:17.61)
Tyler Mullen, Southeast Missouri                     So.          17th (27:23.27)
Josh Wakeman, Morehead State                     Sr.           18th (27:25.73)

2010 OVC WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
(as voted on by the OVC head cross country coaches)
1. Eastern Kentucky (9 first-place votes) – 81

2. Eastern Illinois (1) – 70
3. Murray State – 63
4. Southeast Missouri – 59
5. Jacksonville State – 47
6. Morehead State – 39
7. Tennessee Tech – 29
8. Austin Peay – 28
9. UT Martin – 24
10. Tennessee State – 10
(Teams awarded 9 points for a first-place vote, 8 for second, etc.)

Top 10 Women’s Cross Country Returnees (Based on Finish at 2009 OVC Championship)
Runner                                                                  Yr.                           2009 Finish (Time)

Picoty Leitich, Eastern Kentucky                       So.                          1st (19:29.05)
Sylvia Bundotich, Eastern Kentucky                 Sr.                           3rd (19:57.30)
Katherine Pagano, Eastern Kentucky             Sr.                           4th (20:02.97)

Katelyn Jones, Murray State                              Sr.                           5th (20:11.46)
Olivia Klaus, Eastern Illinois                             So.                          8th (20:26.88)
Monica Noble, Southeast Missouri                  Sr.                           9th (20:28.72)
Ashley Stovall, Jacksonville State                    So.                          10th (20:29.25)
Ashli Joseph, Eastern Kentucky                       Sr.                           11th (20:30.60)
Danielle Mason, Eastern Kentucky                  Jr.                            13th (20:35.77)

Kayla Crusham, Murray State                           Jr.                            14th (20:38.57)

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