EASTERN MEN SIDETRACKED BY FLU BUG

November 24, 2003 12:00 am
NATIONALS IN BLUEGRASS   COUNTRY: (Far left) Eric Griffiths, (93) led the Eastern Oregon men by finishing 34th at the NAIA national meet in Louisville, Ky. Saturday. Early in the race, Brian Crowl (90) was setting the pace. Crowl finished 52nd as he was battling the flu. (Near left) Eastern's Jessyca Barker led the Mountaineer women, finishing 42nd. (Photos courtesy ofJerry Greenman).
NATIONALS IN BLUEGRASS COUNTRY: (Far left) Eric Griffiths, (93) led the Eastern Oregon men by finishing 34th at the NAIA national meet in Louisville, Ky. Saturday. Early in the race, Brian Crowl (90) was setting the pace. Crowl finished 52nd as he was battling the flu. (Near left) Eastern's Jessyca Barker led the Mountaineer women, finishing 42nd. (Photos courtesy ofJerry Greenman).

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A nasty flu bug sent the best-laid plans of the Eastern Oregon cross country men awry this weekend.

The Mountaineers went into the NAIA nationals ranked No 1 in the nation. They had high hopes of being the first Eastern team to win an NAIA national championship.

But, then Alex McGladrey, Brian Crowl and Michael Greenman, Eastern's three All-Americans from last year, were stricken with a virus.

Despite the illnesses, Eastern managed to come in 10th in the nation, but the Mountaineers were hoping for much more.

"It was extremely frustrating to have something that out of our control take us out of it," said coach Ben Welch. "They had a very real chance of doing it (a championship), if things had gone well. Things didn't have to go great, they just had to go well."

Minot State, the defending national champion, won the men's race.

Eastern was led by Eric Griffiths, who finished 34th. Crowl finished 52nd.

Welch said Griffiths actually ran a very good race, and Crowl did well in light of how sick he was heading into the race.

"All things considered, he raced extremely tough," said Welch.

Tim Riley finished 81st, while McGladrey, who had a fever Thursday, finished 114th.

The women came in to the race ranked 22nd in the nation and they finished 21st. Jessyca Barker had a good race, finishing 42nd with a time of 18:50.3. Kelsey Jones came in 76th, while Shannon Edwards finished 127th, Stephanie Colkitt 166th and Jessica Johnston 184th.

"She (Barker) ran an excellent race. She did better in this race than last year. It was just a very deep, fast field this year," said Welch.

Last year, running a time that was 20 seconds slower (albeit, at a different course in Kenosha, Wisc.), Barker was an All-American, finishing 27th.

The good news for Eastern is that the men finished second in the nation for having the highest GPA, and that four of the top runners, Griffiths, McGladrey, Greenman and Schroeder, will be back next year to take a crack at nationals.

— Pierre LaBossire

2003 NAIA cross country championship

Men

Team Results

1, Minot State 162; 2, Black Hills State 172, 3, Simon Fraser, 187; 4, Cal State-San Marcos, 188; 5, Malone College, 202; 6, Azusa Pacific, 206; 7, Concordia (Neb.), 225; 8, MidAmerica Nazarene, 247; 9, Univ. of British Columbia, 277; 10, Eastern Oregon, 307; 11, Cumberland, 322; 12, Aquinas, 341; 13, Warner Southern, 342; 14, Southwestern, 372; 15, Oklahoma Baptist, 391; 16, Berry, 398; 17, Northwood, 400; 18, Mary, 422; 19, Cedarville, 444; 20, Oklahoma Christian, 506; 21, Milligan, 509; 22, Shawnee State, 515; 23, Concordia (Calif.), 540; 24, Southern Nazarene, 555; 25, Univ. of Mobile, 578; 26, Lewis-Clark State, 598; 27, Lyndon State, 693; 28, Olivet Nazarene, 766.

Eastern Oregon individual results

1, Jerry Ziak, British Columbia, 24:22.6; 34, Eric Griffiths, 25:47.6; 52, Brian Crowl, 26:07.1; 81, Tim Riley, 26:29.7; 114, Alex McGladrey, 26:50.9; 116, Pat Egelus, 26:52.2; 133, Michael Greenman, 27:09.1; 140, Ian Schroeder, 27:15.8.

Women

Team Results

1, Simon Fraser, 93; 2, Northwest, 114; 3, Cal State-San Marcos, 177; 4, Indiana Wesleyan, 180; 5, Univ. of British Columbia, 186; 6, Azusa Pacific, 197; 7 Malone, 212; 8, Black Hills State, 249; 9, Cedarville, 321; 10, Roberts Wesleyan, 338; 11, Biola, 340; 12, Point Loma Nazarene, 353; 13, Jamestown, 370; 14, Concordia (Calif.), 387; 15, Minot State, 394; 16, Oklahoma Baptist, 403; 17, Olivet Nazarene, 416; 18, Concordia (Neb.), 418; 19, Lewis-State State, 442; 20, Spring Arbor, 444; 21, Eastern Oregon, 452; 22, Milligan, 496; 23, Mary, 506; 24, St. Scholastica, 581; 25, Benedictine, 593; 26, Warner Southern, 635; 27, Cumblerland, 712; 28, Loyola-New Orleans, 830.

Eastern Oregon individual results

1, Mirriam Kaumba, Oklahoma Baptist, 17:13.9; 42, Jessyca Barker, 18:50.3; 76, Kelsey Jones, 19:16.9; 127, Shannon Edwards, 19:42.4; 166, Stephanie Colkitt, 20:04.9; 184, Jessica Johnston, 20:20.2; 221, Shawna Muchow, 20:54.8; 235, Rian Finney, 21:25.5.