Men’s, women’s cross country teams win Friday


Rob Le Cates

Redshirt senior Avani Flanagan celebrates with Eastern cross country coach Erin Howarth after the EIU Walt Crawford Open on Sept. 3.

Adam Tumino, Sports Editor

The 2021 cross country season go underway Friday afternoon when the Eastern men’s and women’s cross country teams hosted the EIU Walt Crawford Open.

By the time the open was over, both Eastern teams had earned first place finishes. 

The women’s teams competed first in the 5K. Eastern graduate student Lindsey Carlson took first with a time of 17:33.89, beating second place by nearly six seconds. 

It was Carlson’s first ever collegiate cross country race. She was a four-year starter on the women’s soccer team, playing in all 75 matches as a defender for the Panthers and starting in 74 of them. 

She ran indoor cross country last year, when she was named second team All-OVC after finishing second in the conference in the OVC Indoor Track Championship.

She was also named second team All OVC as a member of the soccer team in 2017. 

Redshirt seniors Kate Bushue and Avani Flanagan finished third and fifth. Freshman Janelynn Wirth and sophomore Kylie Decker were the last two scored runners for Eastern, finishing 12th and 13th respectively. 

As a team, the Panthers had 29 points. Illinois was second with 31, followed by Southern Illinois-Edwardsville with 72, Kaskaskia College with 124 and Defiance College with 133.

The men’s team won by a much larger margin, recording 18 points while second-place Illinois had 44. 

The order of finish was the same as it was on the women’s side, with Southern Illinois-Edwardsville coming in third with 67 points, Kaskaskia College finishing fourth with 102 points and Defiance bringing up the rear with 131 points. 

Eastern assured the win by having the top four runners in the 8K. 

Graduate student Jaime Marcos finished first with a time of 24:25.04. 

He was followed by senior Andrew Pilat (24:59.22), senior Franky Romano (25:08.72) and junior Will Bullock (25:15.94). 

The last scored runner for the men’s team was junior Trevor Murphy, who finished with a time of 25:49.69.


Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]