EKU Men Reclaim #1 Spot in Southeast

NEW ORLEANS – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s cross country team usurped the top spot from North Carolina in the most recent NCAA Southeast Region rankings, released by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Monday.
The move comes after EKU defeated North Carolina head-to-head at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational this weekend in Madison. At a loaded meet that featured 19 of the top-30 teams in the country, EKU finished 10th with a score of 332 points. UNC placed 11th with 381 points.
The Colonels, who entered the weekend ranked No. 16 in the country, also defeated two other teams ahead of them in the national rankings, No. 12 Indiana and No. 14 Texas, as well as No. 17 Providence, No. 21 UCLA, No. 22 Minnesota, No. 24 Georgetown, No. 26 Florida, No. 28 Notre Dame and No. 30 Arizona State.
Senior Soufiane Bouchikhi led the way for the Colonels on Saturday, finishing fifth out of 287 competitors and covering the 8K course in a time of 23:27. Fellow senior Wade Meddles was EKU's second finisher, placing 32nd overall in 23:53. Freshman Ambrose Maritim (60th / 24:07) and juniors Thijs Nijhuis (100th / 24:22) and Ole Hesselbjerg (135th / 24:33) rounded out the Colonels' scoring five at the meet.
The EKU women’s team, meanwhile, dropped one spot to No. 7 in the Southeast Region after finishing 42nd at the NCAA Pre-Nationals without top runner Ann Eason.
The latest USTFCCCA national rankings will be released tomorrow.
The EKU cross country teams have this weekend off before competing at the Ohio Valley Conference Championships in Morehead, Ky. on Nov. 2.