JBU’s Eckinroth takes first at meet

McPHERSON, Kan. -- Freshman Cera Eckinroth scored the first top podium spot of her career, and the John Brown University women's cross country team captured fourth place at the Carol Swenson Invitational, hosted by McPherson (Kan.), on Saturday (Oct. 7) morning at Bulldog Park.

In JBU's third-different distance run on the season, Eckinroth repeated what she did the first two races – pace the Golden Eagles. This time, she posted the third-fastest 5,000 meter time in program history by turning in an 18:02 performance, notching the program's fastest time ever by a freshman harrier in the 5,000-meter race.

Another freshman posted her best finish so far of the season as Esmeralda Sandoval's time of 19:00 landed her in seventh place, while sophomore Hope Ahnfeldt finished just 34 seconds later in 16th place overall.

Sophomore Emma Morton and junior Olivia Scates then crossed the line consecutively, with Morton nabbing 34th overall (20:50) and Scates grabbing 35th (20:54).

John Brown finished the race with a 1-5 split of 2:52.

Tabor (Kan.) captured the team title with 45 points (1:35:16), while John Brown's time of 1:38:21 (79 points) lagged behind Kansas Wesleyan and Hutchinson C.C. (Kan.).


Freshman Andrew Harder led the way, while sophomore Matthew Cook and freshman Zach Briscoe turned in personal records, as the John Brown University men's cross country team set a new program record time of 2:11:24 to claim third place at the Carol Swenson Invitational, hosted by McPherson (Kan.), on Saturday (Oct. 7) morning at Bulldog Park.

The prior 8,000 meter team record time of 2:11:58 was set last season at the Sooner Athletic Championships.

Harder paced the Golden Eagles for the first time this season, crossing the tape at 25:57, good enough for 10th place overall. Senior Jean-Benoit Merte scored for the second-consecutive race and finished 12th (26:05).

Sophomore Chase Schermer completed the race in 26:19 – just 11 seconds off a PR – landing 19th place. Briscoe's time of 27:57 (21st) and Cook's mark of 26:37 (29th) rounded out the scoring for John Brown. Cook's finish bested his previous PR by a whopping 1:42.

Kansas Wesleyan took the meet with 21 points (2:06:53), while Tabor (Kan.) finished in the runner-up position at 44 points (2:09:17). John Brown competed the race with 83 points (10-12-18-19-24).

JBU boasted a season-best 1-5 split time of :41.

Up next

After a couple of weeks off, the Golden Eagles will return to the course on Saturday (Oct. 21) in Ashland, Neb., when John Brown participates in the Blazing Tiger NAIA Classic, co-hosted by Doane (Neb.) and Saint Mary (Neb.) at the Eugene T. Mahoney State Park. Start times are yet to be listed.