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La Grande Observer 11/28/14

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FINISHING FAST: Brian Crowl (left) and Alex McGladrey were 1-2 in Saturday's Eastern Oregon Cross Country Open. (The Observer/RAENELLE KWOCK).
FINISHING FAST: Brian Crowl (left) and Alex McGladrey were 1-2 in Saturday's Eastern Oregon Cross Country Open. (The Observer/RAENELLE KWOCK).

By Raenelle Kwock

Observer Staff Writer

The Eastern Oregon cross country team tuned up for the Nov. 9 NAIA Region I and Cascade Collegiate Conference championship at its cross country open Saturday by running shorter distances.

Eastern coach Ben Welch said the team wanted to work on some specific techniques.

The women ran 3,000 meters, while the men ran 6,000 meters. Normally, the women run 5K and the men 8K.

The women have a tough time keeping focus from the end of the first mile to the second mile, Welch said, and he wanted to work on the women closing fast.

The strategy worked, as Eastern had four women runners in the top seven, which led to 30 points for first place.

Boise State was close behind with 34 points for second place.

Eastern was led by Kelsey Jones (second, 10 minutes, 48.54 seconds), Lisa Muilenburg (fourth, 10:51.24), Jessyca Barker (fifth, 11:00.46) and Katlin Lafferty (seventh, 11:09.91).

Welch said Muilenburg had more confidence with a shorter course and was getting over a cold.

"She was feeling better anyhow," he said. "She got out well. She stayed right up in there."

Welch said he was pleased how the men were more relaxed and controlled than last week's Willamette race, when they went out too hard.

The men were divided into two teams, blue and gold. The gold team won with 25 points, while the blue team finished tied for fourth with Treasure Valley Community College with 121 points.

Welch said the blue team members are not normally in the top seven or top five, so it was a chance to give them experience to affect team scoring.

Brian Crowl (18:25.57) and Alex McGladrey (18:29.42) came in 1-2 for the gold team.

Next month's NAIA Region I and Cascade Collegiate Conference championships at Medford will feature a 1,500-meter loop course.

The championship will go back to the normal 8K for men and 5K for women.

Welch said it will be a big challenge for the women because four of the teams in Eastern's region are ranked in the top 14, and three are ranked in the top 10.

Eastern Oregon University Cross Country Open

Women (3,000 meters)

Eastern results

Team scores — Eastern Oregon 30, Boise State 34, Spokane Community College 66, Treasure Valley Community College 109.

Eastern results — 2, Kelsey Jones, EO, 10:48.54; 4, Lisa Muilenburg, EO, 10:51.24; 5, Jessyca Barker, EO, 11:00.46; 7, Katlin Lafferty, EO, 11:09.91; 12, Rian Finney, EO, 11:26.54; 14, Carri Jones, EO, 11:38.86; 17, Shannon Edwards, EO, 12:26.50; 18, Ashley Zacharias, EO, 12:54.03; 21, Kelsi Pelzer, EO, 13:09.46.

Men (6,000 meters)

Eastern results

Team scores — Eastern Oregon Gold 25, Spokane Community College 39, Boise State 65, Eastern Oregon Blue 121, Treasure Valley Community College 121.

Eastern results — 1, Brian Crowl, EO Gold, 18:25.57; 2, Alex McGladrey, EO Gold, 18:29.42; 9, Patrick Egelus, EO Gold, 18:56.50; 11, Michael Greenman, EO Gold, 19:04.70; 13, David Terry, EO Gold, 19:07.93; 21, Nick Fikes, 19:39.22; 23, Jesse Peterson, EO Gold, 19:44.26; 28, Sean Gaskell, EO Blue, 20:08.10; 29, Dan McGourty, 20:10.58; 33, Jake Peterson, EO Blue, 20:17.49; 35, James Stafford, EO Blue, 21:26.08; 37, Ben Carpenter, EO Blue, 21:52.44; 39, Neil Petersen, EO Blue, 22:43.58.


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