LITCHFIELD, Ill. – The Eureka cross country team competed in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships on Saturday and far exceeded the expectations of coach Chris Robinson.
On the men's side all four runners set new personal records, with Javy Garcia's (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield Central) 25th-place finish leading the way. The junior captain finished in 30:47.
Freshman Nick Rulevish (Addieville, Ill./Okawville) cut 46 seconds off his time to take 31st in 31:56. Senior Bryce Logsdon (Boise, Idaho/Timberline closed out his Eureka cross country career by cutting nearly two minutes off his previous personal best to 42nd in 36:02.
Freshman Hayden Skaggs (Mansfield, Texas/Mansfield), meanwhile, recorded the biggest improvement of the day, finishing 49th in 44:09 – a 2:09 improvement on his personal record and over 10 minutes faster than in his first 8K race of the season.
The women's team placed fifth overall, besting Blackburn, 131-142. The team saw three of five runners posts new PRs and brought home the SLIAC Sportsmanship award.
Sophomore captain Riley Reuter (Henry, Ill./Henry-Senachwine) was the Red Devils top finisher, taking 26th in 31:07. Freshman Odessa Grove (Lewistown, Ill./Lewistown) followed, coming in 28th in 32:42. Classmate Isabella Carbajal (Chicago, Ill./Shepard) was right behind her, coming in 29th in 32:56.
Sophomore and first-year cross country runner Sophia Simonis (West Frankfurt, Ill./Frankfurt) turned in the biggest improvement of the day, finishing 34th in 35:51 and cutting seven minutes off her best time.
Senior Nikki Tye (Kewanee, Ill./Wethersfield) took 38th in 34:47 in her last cross country race as a Red Devil.
"We are making great strides as a team, and I am really excited for the future of Red Devil XC," Robinson said. "I could not be more proud of how this team works together and supports each other."
"Finishing a season is always bittersweet," EC assistant coach Ian Cummings added. "It was fun being able to watch the team grow both as individuals and together. Everyone ran well today, and I couldn't ask for a better way to end a season. I cannot wait to continue building the team."