Red Devils Show Progress at Titan Open

Photo by Elly Maier.
Photo by Elly Maier.

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Eureka cross country and distance team traveled to Illinois Wesleyan for the Titan Open on Saturday and came home with some impressive results.

The Red Devils had five athletes compete in new events for the first time in their college career, and had three who improved on personal records set at the Principia Relays two weeks ago.

Freshman newcomer Karissa Heffernan (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) led the way on the women's side, placing 12th out of 35 runners in the mile with a personal-best time 5:52.50. She cut eight seconds off of her performance at the Principia Relays. She also competed in the 800 for the time and finished 17th in 2:41.49.

Sophomore Riley Reuter (Henry, Ill./Henry-Senachwine) and junior Sarah Kimbro (Peoria, Ill./Metamora) also competed in the 800 for the first time. The two finished together, taking 32nd in 3:10.43 and 33rd in 3:18.20, respectively.

Kimbro's 800 came after she cut nine seconds off previous best mile. She came in 32rd in 7:10.40 and was followed by sophomore Sophia Simonis (West Frankfurt, Ill./Frankfurt), who fought through the nerves of her first distance event to take 35th in 7:56.01.

Freshmen Isabella Carbajal (Chicago, Ill./Shepard) and Odessa Grove (Lewistown, Ill./Lewistown) each competed in the 400 for the first time in several years. Carbajal took 27th in 1:17.18 and Grove took 30th in 1:23.

On the men's side, Javy Garcia (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield Central) trimmed four seconds off his mile performance at the Principia Relays to take 36th in 5:10.98. The junior captain fought through contact on the start of the second lap and stayed the pack of his heat the rest of the way.

Freshman Hayden Skaggs (Mansfield, Texas/Mansfield) ran a strong 1:06 in his first 400 since he was in eighth grade.

The Red Devils' spring distance season will continue Friday with the Hilltop Classic at Illinois College.

"This team is working hard, making improvements, and seeing their efforts pay off," EC cross country and distance coach Chris Robinson said. "Best of all they are really coming together as a team, and having a blast!"