In-state competition for Eastern cross country

Alex Hartman, Cross-Country Reporter

After a strong showing at the Notre Dame Invitational meet where the Panthers men finished 5th and an 8th place finish for the women’s, Eastern cross-country will take to the course after a two-week break.

The team will compete at the Bradley “Pink” Classic, the meet is held annually for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The “Pink” Classic will take place Friday at Peoria’s Newman Golf Course.

The race will feature two divisions: red and white. Eastern’s women runners will compete in the red 6K beginning at 3:30 p.m. and the men’s red 8K is scheduled to begin at 4:15 p.m.

In 2015, Eastern competed against Kansas State, Dayton, Marquette and Loyola. Conference competitors included Southeast Missouri. Eastern’s in-state rival Illinois State was also in attendance.

The winning team on the women’s side was Illinois State, with the top finisher being South Dakota’s Amber Eichkorn with a time of 20 minutes, 11.8 seconds. Illinois was the top school overall for the men and the top overall runner was Garrett Kenyon of UNA-Creighton with a time of 23:48.2.

Eastern will look to improvement on the14th place team finish for the women and the men’s 6th place finish.

Eastern’s runners have been performing at a very high level so far this season junior Maria Baldwin, seniors Ruth Garippo, Tyler Yunk, and Paxson Menard have all recorded top-10 finishes. The Panthers have also recorded multiple top-5 team finishes in the Walt Crawford Open and the Country Financial Invite.

Eastern’s Riley McInerney was the top finisher in 21st with a time of 24:28.4 and now graduated Joe Calio came in 36th with 24:49.3.

For the women, junior Maria Baldwin brought home the top finish for the Panthers with a time of 21:31.0 earning her a 36th place overall and senior Ivy Handley followed in 46th with a time of 21:39.8.

Following the Bradley “Pink” Classic Eastern will head to the University of Illinois for the Illini Open Oct. 21. The meet will be last meet before the OVC Championship Oct. 29 hosted by Belmont University.

Alex Hartman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]