EOU harriers headed to nationals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Eastern Oregon University men’s cross country team has earned an at-large berth to the NAIA Men’s Cross Country Championships.
The National Championship field has 32 teams and 97 individuals — representing 64 institutions.
The last time the men’s cross country team took to the course was Saturday, when it finished second in the Cascade Collegiate Conference Championships.
The Mountaineers finished the meet with a team score of 54 points, behind Southern Oregon who won the meet with 31 points.
Leading Eastern Oregon was Isaac Updike, who finished second with a time of 25 minutes,47.25 seconds.
Following Isaac Updike was Kody Shriver, who finished fourth overall for EOU, with a time of 25 minutes, 52.38 seconds. Shriver ran with Updike to finish in the top five and earn All-CCC honors for their performance. Hans Roelle finished third for EOU and 11th overall with a time of 26:18.19. Nic Maszk and Lucas Updike finished fourth and fifth.
“The men overcame a slow start to move up from about fourth place in the team place in the team standings mid race to finish second,” Mountaineers head coach Ben Welch said. “We were actually gaining ground on Southern Oregon in the late stages of the race, but we’re too far back and outmanned in the end.
“Isaac and Shriver were in the lead pack pretty much the entire race. They used very strong second halfs and in particular, the last quarter of the race, to move up to their final places.”
Welch said Roelle was an absolute beast in the second half of the race, moving from near the middle of the field to 11th and only one- hundredth of a second out of 10th.
Baker High product Nic Maszk had a strong race to finish as the fourth man, and secured his spot on the national team.
The men will head to nationals as the ninth ranked team. Southern Oregon will go in as the number-one ranked team in the NAIA.
Welch said the women’s team made some improvements at the conference
“Our women had a mixed bag to finish eighth as a team, despite improving their team time by almost four minutes from the preview meet in mid September,” Welch said. “Cristal Delgado, a senior from Hermiston ran very well in her final cross country race.”