Michelle Herbes placed second, Megan Boals broke into the top 10, and the Eastern Oregon University women’s cross country team took the top spot in the Gold Race — which featured several Cascade Collegiate Conference schools — Saturday at the Charles Bowles Invitational in Salem.
“I have been trying to get a team to win that meet for 29 years, so kudos to the ladies,” head coach Ben Welch said. “Down through the years, we have been second many times between the genders, so it is very satisfying to get the ‘W’ yesterday.”
Herbes’ time of 18:02.8 and Boals’ time of 18:39.3 — which was good for seventh — powered EOU, which scored 52 points to edge out Lane Community College (67 points) for the top spot. Eastern’s Ella Coughlan also broke into the top 20, placing 19th with a time of 19:26.3. Katie Jo Gebhardt took 23rd in 19:32.6, and Molly Gulden rounded out the top five for EOU in 26th in 19:37.3.
“The women went into the race with the mantra of ‘RTW’ (race to win) and despite being on the tired side before the race started, stayed focused and kept after it,” Welch said. “We are in a tough training cycle right now, so I was very happy with how well they competed.”
The EOU men placed third in the Gold Race with 107 points, behind Spokane Community College (48) and San Diego Mesa (50), but ahead of three other CCC teams. Alex Navarro placed 10th in a time of 24:57.2 to lead the Mountaineers. Travis Running followed in 29th in 25:47.1 to head a cluster of EOU runners who finished close together. Braxton Wilson was 33rd in 26:02.6, Hunter Schiess followed in 35th in 26:06, and Hunter Nichols was 43rd in 26:19.7.
“The men competed very well too and actually dropped a huge chunk of time off their previous season best,” Welch said. “(They) got out well and worked their way up throughout the race with most of them catching people throughout the race.”
The Mountaineers return to action Oct. 12 at the LCSC Warrior Open in Lewiston, Idaho.