Mountaineer harriers run to fifth-place finishes
SALEM — For the second week in a row senior Karlee Coffey (La Grande) and junior Kody Coxen (Silverton,) paced the way for the Eastern Oregon women’s and men’s cross country teams Saturday at the annual Charles Bowles Willamette University Cross Country Invitational.
The duo led the Mountaineers to fifth place team finishes in both women’s 5,000 meters and men’s 8,000 meter races.
The Mounties finished with 191 points to finish behind the number-one ranked University of British Columbia (64), Everett Community College (83), No. 7 Northwest Christian College (127), and No. 11 Lewis-Clark State College.
The men scored 146 points to finish behind #5 UBC and No. 27 Concordia, both with 91, No. 6 Lewis-Clark State, 110, and the Oregon Running Club, 132.
“Overall I’m pleased with the two fifth-place finishes, especially the women’s,” remarked EOU head coach Ben Welch.
“We beat a number of nationally ranked teams on both sides.”
Coffey battled Kimber Mattox for the victory from the gun.
The duo raced side-by-side for most of the 5,000 meter race, with Mattox just edging out Coffey at the finish 17:17 to 17:21. The mark by Coffey is the fastest 5,000 cross country race ever run by a Mountaineer breaking her own record by 16 seconds.
“Coffey looked strong in racing to a new school record. She continues to get stronger as the season progresses,” said Welch.
Junior Jodine Steemers (Tucson, Ariz) continued her solid running for Eastern. Again this week she followed Coffey across the line as the second Mountaineer in 24th, 18:48.
One night after performing on the volleyball court against the College of Idaho, senior Leigh Anne MacCarthy (Monmouth) ran her first cross country race ever and finished 50th.
She started conservatively and progressed up through the field to run 19:35.
“Leigh Anne was impressive today, especially considering what she has been through this weekend,” offered Welch. “She left Boise at 6:15 am this morning, after playing against C of I last night and showed up here two hours before her first race ever in cross country. She is a real competitor.”
After missing last week’s meet due to injury, senior Talissa Baldovino (Lakeview, OR) ran her way to a 74th place finish in 20:02. She was followed closely by freshman Kailey Wilson (Copper Center, AK) 87th, 20:26 and junior Cristal Delgado (Hermiston, OR) 90th in 20:30.
Senior Jessianne Heley (North Bend, OR), 112, 21:04, freshman Hailee Hollingsworth (Pocatello, ID), 127, 21:12, and sophomore Audrey Love (Lamoni, IA), 165, 22:36 rounded things out for the ladies.
Coxen ran much of the race behind teammate, freshman Kody Shriver (Kalama, WA). Shriver ran in front of Coxen through three and a half miles before he moved in front, finishing 31st in 25:36. Shriver stayed close finishing only two spots behind in 33rd, 25:38.
“Shriver showed that there were no freshmen jitters in his performance today,” stated Welch. “He continues to show that he belongs at this level.”
Senior Ryan Booth (Post Falls, ID) wasn’t far behind the Kody’s the whole way finishing 36th with a time of 25:42.
Junior Isaac Updike (Ketchikan, AK), who also missed last week’s meet due to injury, showed that he was rounding back into shape nicely by finishing in 44th, 25:59.
Sophomore Hans Roelle (Anchorage, AK) started near the middle of the pack and continued to work his way up finally ending up 52, 26:06. He was followed across the line by junior Carlos Hernandez (Los Angeles, CA) 73, 26:23, sophomore Seth Lougee (San Antonio, TX), 90, 26:36, and senior Zach Seely (Portland, OR), 97, 26:44.
The Mountaineer squad was rounded out by sophomore Gus Titus (Burns, OR), 118, 27:09, senior Ramon Hernandez (Torrance , CA), 130, 27:16, sophomore Alex Martinez (Reno, NV), 138, 27:25, freshman Phillip Sebastiani (Anchorage, AK), 144, 27:38, sophomore Calvin Edward (Wasilla, AK), 166, 28:05, and senior Salome Castillo (Parkdale, OR), 28:12.
“I was really pleased with the way our six through thirteenth guys ran today,” said Welch. “Almost every one of them had big personal bests.”
The Mountaineer Men are off for the next two weeks before running at the Wildhorse Invitational in Pendleton on Friday, October 19.
The ladies are off this next week but will be in action the following week in Lewiston, ID or Portland.