Both Michelle Herbes and Megan Boals cracked into the top 10, leading the No. 12 Eastern Oregon women’s cross country team to a third-place finish at the Cascade Collegiate Conference championship meet Friday at Cottage Grove.

“Herbes and Boals did an excellent job of engaging with the lead back early and racking hard to stay up front, giving us two low point scorers,” head coach Ben Welch said.

Herbes came in second with a time of 17:47.1, trailing only freshman phenom Amelia Pullen of Warner Pacific, who finished in 17:35.7. The two were the only runners to break the tape in less than 18 minutes. Herbes’ time was also the second best ever at EOU, Welch said.

“Getting second individually was a big accomplishment for me,” Herbes said. “Two of the goals I set at the beginning of the season were to place in the top five at conference and go sub 18 (minutes). As for the team getting third overall, I thought that everyone worked really hard to get us there.” 

Boals posted a time of 18:16.8 to take 10th overall. The effort garnered all-conference recognition for Herbes and Boals as both finished in the top 12.

Lisa Megargee finished the race in 20th place with a time of 18:48.5, while freshman MacKenzie Trainer continued her solid finish to the season with a 28th-place finish and a time of 19:04.8. Stormy Bullard, who posted a time of 19:28.2, took 33rd to round out Eastern’s top five. 

The Mountaineers edged Oregon Tech for fourth place. EOU scored 88 points as a team, while OIT had 94.

College of Idaho was the top team with 55 points and a pair of top-five finishers. Southern Oregon (70 points) was second. 

The 23rd-ranked EOU men scored 110 points to take fourth overall behind a top-five finish from all-CCC runner Alex Navarro.

Navarro came in third overall, posting a time of 25:21.5 to finish just six seconds behind race leader Riley Sine of Northwest (Washington). 

“Alex Navarro continued his superb season of excellent racing,” Welch said.

Travis Running finished one spot out of all-conference recognition, taking 13th with a time of 25:53.7. 

Hunter Nichols and Braxton Wilson finished together in 34th and 35th. The freshman Nichols crossed the line in 26:57.6, and Wilson followed just 0.1 seconds later.

Weyekin Wild Bill was 41st in a time of 27:07.5 to complete Eastern’s top five.

College of Idaho, like on the women’s side, won to complete the team sweep, scoring 43 points. Southern Oregon (59) was second, and Oregon Tech (84) placed third.

Eastern now waits to see its fate for the NAIA national championship meet, which will take place Nov. 22 in Vancouver, Washington.

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