Cross Country Faces Tough Field At Notre Dame

Thursday, September 29 2011 - Notre Dame Invite

Panthers to meet several regionally ranked foes
Morris & Biehler 2011 cross
CHARLESTON, Ill. Eastern Illinois cross country returns to action on Friday afternoon as they compete at the Notre Dame Invite as part of the Gold Division race.  The Panther women will begin at 1 p.m. followed by the EIU men at 1:45 p.m.   The Panthers are coming off strong performances in their first two meets of the season. 

Senior Bradley LaRocque was named the OVC Runner of the Week after leading EIU to a team victory at the EIU Walt Crawford Open on Sept. 9.  In his last outing at the Illinois Intercollegiate LaRocque ran a personal best time of 24:45 to place sixth overall.  LaRocque's time in that meet was the 20th fastest 8K mark in EIU history.  Freshman Bryce Basting has also been coming on strong for the Panthers placing 16th at the Illinois Intercollegiate after a 12th place finish at the EIU home meet.

Junior Olivia Klaus was the OVC Runner of the Week following her last 5K performance at the Illinois Intercollegiate on Sept. 16.  Klaus placed sixth in the field with a time of 17:57 which was the sixth best 5K time in EIU history.  Klaus placed fourth in the Panthers season opening home meet.  Junior Erika Ramos has been the Panthers number two runner in both meets this season placing 18th at the Illinois Intercollegiate and 12th at the EIU Walt Crawford.

EIU men's team cracked the USTFCCCA Midwest Regional rankings following their performance at the EIU Walt Crawford but dropped out of the top 15 in the last two weeks.  The Notre Dame Gold Division meet features a balanced field for the EIU men to compete against with Central Michigan (12th in Great Lakes Region) and Illinois-Chicago (14th in Midwest Region) set to compete.  The men's field will include NCAA Division I regional teams along with nationally ranked Division II and Division III schools from Calvin, Grand Valley State, North Central College, UW Oshkosh and UW Stevens Point.

The women's team will also have a balanced field to compete against with regionally ranked Division I programs from Northwestern (7th in Midwest) and Central Michigan (13th in Great Lakes).  Along with regional NCAA Division I schools the field includes nationally ranked Division II and Division III programs Calvin and Grand Valley State.