Eastern Kentucky dominates OVC cross country championship

Dominic Renzetti, Assistant Staff Reporter

The Eastern women’s cross country team finished in second place at the Ohio Valley Conference championship meet on Saturday in Oxford, Ala., while the men’s team finished fifth.

Eastern Kentucky again showed its dominance in OVC cross country, finishing in first place in both the men’s and women’s divisions.

For the Panthers, sophomore Emily Brelsfoard led the way, finishing in ninth place with a time of 17:45.16. Brelsfoard, from Normal, was an All-OVC Second Team selection, along with teammates Victoria Quarton and Maria Baldwin.

Quarton, a junior from Litchfield, finished in 13th with a time of 17:59.36. Baldwin, a freshman from Toluca in her first season with the Panthers, finished 14th at 17:59.98. Baldwin was named OVC Freshman of the Year on Friday.

Sophomore Ivy Handley finished in 14th with a time of 18:15.15 while sophomore Julie James finished in 23th with a time of 18:23.99. Also competing for the Eastern women’s team was sophomore Rachel Garippo and red-shirt sophomores Kristen Rohrer and Quincy Knolhoff. Garippo was 24th with a time of 18:26.71, Rohrer was 32nd with a time of 18:35.72 and Knolhoff was 60th with a time of 19:44.01.

Eastern Kentucky had five of the top six runners with senior Ann Eason taking first overall. Eason finished with a time of 17:04.73. Eastern Kentucky’s first place team score was 19 points. Eastern finished second with 78. Belmont was third with 86, Southeast Missouri was fourth with 95 and Murray State was fifth with 115.

Men’s team finishes in fifth

On the men’s side, Charleston native Riley finished in 15th place with a time of 25:04.55, leading the team.

Sophomore Paxson Menard finished in 19th with a time of 25:14.02.  Red-shirt junior Joe Calio, red-shirt senior Ryan Ballard and red-shirt sophomore Derrick Johnson rounded out the top five Eastern finishers with times of 25:21.76, 25:23.26 and 25:49.39, respectively. Calio was 21st, Ballard was 23rd and Johnson was 31st.

Also competing for Eastern was red-shirt sophomore Mark Pedziwiatr, red-shirt freshman Lucas Nudelman and red-shirt junior Brock Ramos. Pedziwiatr was 40th with a time of 26:09.77.  Nudelman was 51st with a time of 26:3.26 and Ramos was 67th with a time of 27:29.74.

All of the top-five finishers were from Eastern Kentucky. Ambrose Maritim was first with a time of 23:59.29. Eastern Kentucky finished with 15 points to win the OVC title. Morehead State was second with 90 points, Southern Illinos-Edwardsville was third with 93 and Belmont was fourth with 97. Eastern finished fifth with a total of 109.

The Panthers next action will be Nov. 14 at the NCAA Midwest Regional in Peoria.

Dominic Renzetti (@DomRenzetti) can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].