EUREKA – The Eureka cross country program hosted its first official cross country meet since the program relaunched on Sunday morning.
The Red Devils competed against runners from Blackburn at Lower Lake Eureka Park. Eureka's Javy Garcia led the way, clocking in at 19:43. Outside of a pair of team time trials in the fall, it was the sophomore's first race in over two years.
"I didn't really have a plan," Garcia said. "I just wanted to win and have fun."
Garcia was followed by Blackburn's Quentin Smith at 19:54. Eureka junior Bryce Logsdon was third at 24:10, while Blackburn's Holly Luchezk and Kariem Ali rounded out the field at 24:40 and 33:15, respectively.
"After nearly seven months, and the uncertainty and delays due to COVID-19, it is hard to put into words how gratifying it was to see this meet come together," EC cross country coach Chris Robinson said. "I was thrilled for both our student-athletes and those from Blackburn that we had this opportunity to run and compete. Blackburn brought a great group up who matched well with our Red Devil runners. This race experience, having others push us in competition, will serve us well going into the SLIAC Conference Championship next weekend. The cherry on top was seeing Javy come around to the home stretch holding a solid lead, and then crossing that line in first place."
The meet was nicknamed the "Log Dog Dual," in honor of Bryce Logsdon's grandfather, beloved longtime Eureka College professor and passionate Red Devil supporter Dr. Loren Logsdon, who passed away in September.
"Dr. Logsdon has meant so much to the Eureka College community, and the town of Eureka," Robinson said. "You would be hard pressed to find someone on campus or the streets of Eureka who does not have a Dr. Logsdon story. He was the first person to donate to our new cross country program, and he was so excited to see it return to campus. When I decided to host this meet I wanted to do something to honor him. On campus he had a nickname, the Log Dog. So, since this was a dual meet with Blackburn, and after receiving the blessing from his family, it was only natural that it become the Log Dog Dual. My hopes are to turn this into an annual event."
On Saturday, the Red Devils will compete in the SLIAC Cross Country Conference Championships in Litchfield.