Men 6th, Women 14th at Bradley ‘Pink’ Classic


Jason Howell

Junior Riley McInerney finshes 21st out of 250 runners during the men’s 8k red race in the Bradley Pink Classic on Friday at Newman Golf Course in Peoria Ill. McInerney finished with a time of 24:29. The men finished 6th out of 26 competing teams.

Bob Reynolds, Sports Editor

The Eastern men’s and women’s cross country teams placed sixth and 14th, respectively, at the Bradley “Pink” Classic Friday in Peoria.

Both teams competed in the “Red” Division in the classic as top times were posted by members of each team.

The Eastern men were led by junior Riley McInerney and red-shirt senior Joe Calio as both runners placed inside the top 30.

McInenery posted a time of 24 minutes and 28.4 seconds, which placed him in 14th. Calio finished 21 seconds behind McInerney with his 24:49.3 time in the 8K course. Calio finished in 49th place overall.

Eastern coach Erin Howarth said McInerney has progressed extremely well since the season has started.

“With each workout, he gets a little hungrier to be great, a little more aggressive with his racing plans, and he 100% percent believe in what he is doing and what his capabilities are,” she said. “This is new territory for him and one that is so exciting for everyone that knows him and especially for him.”

The University of Illinois finished as the top team in the classic out of 27 teams overall. The Fighting Illini finished with 70 points and were paced by Dan Lahrop, who had a time of 24:14.6 and placed fourth as an individual.

Illinois senior Paul Zeman was the second Fighting Illini to place in the top 10 with a time of 24:16.4. Sophomore Alex Gold finished eighth overall with a time of 24:17.4 for the Illini.

The University of Nebraska finished in second place as a team and had no runners in the top 10, but the Cornhuskers had three runners in the top 20.

Nebraska junior Jacob Olsen finished in 13th place overall with a time of 24:28.4. Sophomore Peter Sprinks and junior Matt Gilbert finished in 19th and 20th place, respectively, for the Cornhuskers.

Rounding out the top-five teams was another Big Ten school in Iowa with 112 points. Illinois State scored 121 points and Dayton finished in fifth place with 193 points.

As a team, Eastern scored 202 points, coming in sixth.

Junior Reed Fischer from Drake University won the race as an individual with a time of 23:52.2. As a team Drake finished in 16th place.

On the women’s side, sophomore Maria Baldwin paced the Panthers to a 14th place finish in the 6K course. Baldwin’s time of 21.31.0 was one second off the school record.

Howarth has been impressed with Baldwin’s ability to improve all season.

“She is someone that given a race plan and particular people to beat will literally die doing it,” she said. “She is such a fierce competitor, and that’s not something you can coach. Given that, plus the amazing fitness that she keeps building, she is going to be unstoppable by the end of the season,”

However, Eastern freshman Jocelyn Mendoza finished with a time of 21:54.8, which shattered the 6K freshman school record at Eastern by 16 seconds.

Illinois State won the women’s division with a team score of 162. Oakland finished in second place overall with a score of 170.

Loyola finished in third with a score of 201. Kansas State was fourth with a 202. St. Louis University finished in fifth with a 204.

Eastern finished with a team score of 304, which was good for 14th overall.

South Dakota senior Amber Eichkorn won the race as an individual with a time of 20:11.8.

Both the men and women will be back in action Oct. 23 at the Illini Open in Champaign.


Bob Reynolds can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]