EKU cross-country headed to Disney World for ASUN championships

First-ever ASUN championships for school

RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ/EKU Athletics) – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s and women’s cross country teams will compete at their first-ever ASUN Championships on Saturday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, located in the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.

The men’s 8K race is set to get underway at 7:40 a.m. ET, followed by the women’s 5K race at 8:15 a.m. ET.

Both races will air live on ESPN+.

Following strong showings at Virginia’s Panorama Farms XC23 Invitational two weeks ago, the EKU men and women both enter the postseason regionally ranked.

The Colonel men checked in at No. 12 in the most recent U.S. Track and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Southeast Region rankings, while the women came in at No. 15. It is the women’s team’s first regional ranking since November of 2019.

All-American Ahmed Jaziri leads the men’s squad. Jaziri won the individual OVC title and was an NCAA Championships qualifier in the spring. He most recently won at UVA took weeks ago, clocking an 8K time of 23:52.9.

Junior Joan Tapias (3rd / 24:11.9) and freshman Charles Kipchumba (6th / 24:22.2) also ran impressive races at Virginia and will look to continue that success this weekend.

Junior Jackson Siddall and sophomores Nikodem Dworczak and Pedro Garcia-Palencia could also play a pivotal role in Saturday’s outcome.

The women are led by the duo of newcomer Jone Zabaleta Larranaga and sophomore Laura Taborda. Zabaleta Larranaga finished fourth overall at Virginia on October 17 with a 5K time of 17:27.8, while Taborda – an NCAA qualifier in the spring – took ninth overall in 17:34.8.

Sophomore Grace Kilroy – who missed nearly all of last cross country and track season with an injury – was third on the team, covering the hilly 5K course in 18:13.0.

Junior Beighley Ayers and sophomores Saskia Pingpank and Katy Chapman have also been top-5 runners for the team throughout the fall.

Following the ASUN Championships, the cross country teams will compete at the NCAA Southeast Regional in Louisville on Friday, November 12.

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