RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s and women’s cross country teams will head east to Rock Hill, South Carolina to compete at the NCAA Southeast Regional on Friday at Winthrop Farm.
The women’s 6K race is scheduled to go off at 11 a.m. ET, followed by the men’s 10K race at 12 p.m. ET.
The top two teams at each of the nine NCAA regionals across the country on Friday automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships. Thirteen at-large teams also advance to the national championship meet.
The EKU men are currently ranked No. 1 in the Southeast Region and No. 16 in the country.
The Colonels won their 13th consecutive OVC championship two weeks ago, placing seven runners in the top-14. Redshirt freshman James Sugira ran away from the field, winning the individual title by 36 seconds and breaking the OVC Championships 8K record with a time of 23:31.6. He was named the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week two days later.
Sugira will be one of the favorites to win the individual title on Friday; however, several other Colonels should also be in the mix for all-region honors. Seniors Jaime Romo and David Bascunana have been a solid 2-3 punch for EKU this fall, while senior Erick Rotich placed fifth at the Southeast Regional two years ago.
Juniors Samuel Abascal and Zach Stewart and freshmen Antoine Senard and Remi Schyns could also be factors for the Colonels at the meet.
The EKU men will be seeking their first NCAA berth since 2015. The Colonels qualified for the national championship meet five consecutive years, from 2011 to 2015.
The EKU women enter Friday’s race ranked No. 3 in the Southeast, behind only N.C. State and Furman.
The Colonels won their 12th OVC title in the last 13 years on October 27. Junior Lilian Jeptoo Kiborus led the way, finishing second overall with a 5K time of 17:15.9.
Senior Gladys Cheruiyot (fourth) and freshman Lilian Ndorobo (sixth) also received first-team All-OVC honors at the meet.
Seniors Meggan Grams and Alondra Hoyos round out the Colonels’ projected scoring five at regionals.
The EKU women will be seeking their second consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships. The Colonels became the first OVC women’s team ever to qualify for the NCAA Cross Country Championships last season.
A total of 40 women’s teams and 39 men’s teams are expected to compete on Friday.
The NCAA Championships are set to be held Saturday, November 17 in Madison, Wisconsin.