Cross country teams place 2nd and 3rd in season opener


Rob Le Cates

Andrew Pilat, a graduate student studying exercise science, finishes out the final stretch in the Walt Crawford Open meet Friday afternoon at the Panther Trail. Pilat finished second with a time of 25:23.7 with an average mile time of 5:06.6.

Maurice Phipps, Cross Country Reporter

The Eastern men’s and women’s cross country teams had a strong showing at the Walt Crawford Open on Friday afternoon as they placed second and third, respectively.  

Coach Erin Howarth said that both teams put in a lot of work before the season and that it was time for them to reap the benefits. 

“We’re just excited to get the season going. We have a lot of people who put in awesome summer training on their own,” Howarth said. “Now it’s time for us to reap the rewards, enjoy each other’s company and focus on racing with our teammates.” 

The men were led by Senior Andrew Pilat. He, along with Juniors Adam Swanson and Josh Whitaker, placed second, third, and fourth overall, respectively. The men made three of the five best times in the race. Indiana State took home first place with a score of 39 and the Panthers were not far behind with a score of 46. 

The men started off strong and kept a very steady pace throughout the entire race. Nearing the end as the racers were solidifying what place they would finish, the trio of Eastern men stayed together at the front end of the pack and finished the race together 

The leading runner for the women, Bushue, led the race for a large majority, only to be overtaken in the late stretch of the race. Bushue placed fourth overall in her race with a time of 18 minutes, 36 seconds.  

Bushe said that there is always more preparation before going into a race, but she gave it her best effort. “I think there’s always more stuff you could do leading up to the race, but I feel like I played my cards the best way I could’ve,” Bushue said.  

Marquette won the women’s race with a score of 27. Following behind them was Illinois-Chicago with a score of 41, and the Panthers with 54. 

The Panthers will head to the Illinois State Redbird Invite on Sept. 16 with races set to begin at 6 p.m.  

Maurice Phipps can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]