NASHVILLE, Tenn. – No. 27 Eastern Kentucky University stayed unbeaten by cruising to a win in the gold race at the Vanderbilt Commodore Classic on Saturday.
The EKU women’s team also delivered a strong showing , finishing third out of 24 teams in the gold race.
The EKU men competed without their top runner, junior Soufiane Bouchikhi, but used great depth to secure an easy win over 24 teams, including Southeastern Conference (SEC) foes such as Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Alabama, host Vanderbilt and Louisiana State, Ohio Valley Conference squads such as Morehead State, Murray State and Belmont and in-state rival Western Kentucky.
The Colonels placed nine runners in the top-30 to finish with 32 points. Their nearest competitor, Miami (Ohio), finished with 83 points, while the third-place finisher, Tennessee, ended up with 121 points.
Sophomore Ben Toroitich led the way for EKU, finishing third out of 197 runners in the gold race and covering the 8K course in 24:41.72. Fellow sophomore Thijs Nijhuis was not far behind in fourth place (24:46.98), while junior Wade Meddles finished seventh (24:49.71), sophomore Ole Hesselbjerg placed eighth (24:56.18) and freshman Amos Kosgey rounded out the Colonels’ top-five with a 10th-place finish (24:57.58).
The Colonel women, ranked No. 13 in the Southeast Region entering Saturday, finished the day with 108 points, finishing third only to host Vanderbilt (42 points) and Ole Miss (84 points) and defeating such squads as Mississippi State, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and LSU, as well as several OVC teams.