Cross Country team to compete in Bradley Intercollegiate tournament

Alex Hartman, Cross Country Reporter


The men and women of the Eastern cross country team will continue their season as they head to Bradley University for the Bradley Intercollegiate race Friday.

The competition will start at 5 p.m. for the men and 5:45 p.m. for the women.

This will be the second race for the team and their first competition on the road this season.

Each will face opponents on the road for the remainder of the year until the OVC Championship Oct. 28.

Eastern comes into this meet with some confidence and ambition after their success in the EIU Walt Crawford open two weeks ago.

With the new members of the team beginning to settle into their environment and veteran runners hungry for a fruitful road trip for the second meet of the year, the men and women are ready to compete.

While the men have a promising young runner on their side in the freshman Dustin Hatfield, the women are also looking good for the rest of the season as they were ranked 15th in the most recent USTFCCCA Regional Rankings, for week one of the 2017 cross country season.

The team is right behind Northern Iowa and Bradley in the rankings with Missouri as the number one team. The squad is led by senior Maria Baldwin who finished second in the team’s first race of the year.

Also the freshman Kate Bushue, who finished 13th in the opening race of the year, is the young rising runner on the women’s team who will look to progress as the season goes on.

On the men’s side, Dustin Hatfield was named the OVC runner of the week after his performance in his first ever collegiate race at the EIU Walt Crawford Open.

His winning time of 25:09:03 is the fastest 8K time in the conference this season, and was nine seconds faster than the next runner at the Walt Crawford Open.

While Eastern did not participate at Bradley this early in the season last year, they had a good day in Oct. 2016, the last time they competed there, where they finished 5th out of 27 teams.

Eastern’s next race will be a longer road trip, as they head down to Louisville for the Louisville Classic Sept. 30.

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