BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – The accolades keep coming for the Eastern Kentucky University cross country teams following a successful opening meet at the Bluegrass Invitational on Saturday. Senior Soufiane Bouchikhi and junior Ann Eason have now been named the adidas Ohio Valley Conference Male and Female Runners of the Week, the league office announced on Tuesday.
Bouchikhi, who was named the National Male Athlete of the Week on Monday by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), won the men’s race at the Bluegrass Invitational, defeating his nearest competitor by 12 seconds and covering the 8K course in a time of 23:35.68. The All-American defeated a field of 78 runners that included athletes from schools such as No. 1 Oklahoma State, Kentucky and Louisville. His stellar performance led the EKU men’s team – still ranked No. 11 in the latest USTFCCCA national poll – to a resounding win at its first meet of the fall.
This is Bouchikhi’s 10th-career OVC Cross Country Runner of the Week honor.
Eason, last year’s OVC Female Runner of the Year and an outdoor All-American in the 5,000 meters, finished second in the women’s race on Saturday, losing only to Kentucky’s Cally Macumber (the Female National Athlete of the Week) while covering the 5K course in 16:58.34. Eason’s performance led the EKU women to victory over the likes of Kentucky (then ranked No. 5 in the NCAA Southeast Region), Louisville and Oklahoma State and vaulted the Colonels to No. 6 in the latest Southeast Region polls.
This is Eason’s third-career OVC Cross Country Runner of the Week honor.
Bouchikhi, Eason and the rest of Colonels return to action on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the University of Virginia / Panorama Farms Invitational in Charlottesville, Va.