Eagles XC has been a huge embarrassment

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eagalum
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:22 pm

The team has only gotten worse in the last four years and no new recruits have came in, only athletes leaving. Every race seems to have been a disappointment and reading all the news releases the coach seems to only blame the athletes publicly which is very degrading and unprofessional towards the athletes. Only beating Northern Colorado and Portland State at Big Sky conference should be the final wake up call since it hasn't been realized in 4 years that something in that program needs a change! If this was football or basketball a record like this would have been taken care of a LONG time ago.
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EdubAlum
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eagalum wrote:The team has only gotten worse in the last four years and no new recruits have came in, only athletes leaving. Every race seems to have been a disappointment and reading all the news releases the coach seems to only blame the athletes publicly which is very degrading and unprofessional towards the athletes. Only beating Northern Colorado and Portland State at Big Sky conference should be the final wake up call since it hasn't been realized in 4 years that something in that program needs a change! If this was football or basketball a record like this would have been taken care of a LONG time ago.
What's the problem do you think? I don't know enough about XC to know....
eagalum
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:22 pm

With only 2 new guys on the team in the last four years, and them placing nearly last place in the region the problem is the coaching. They didn't even finish half the meets this year with a full team (5 guys). I could find five elementary school kids that could finish a race. There hasn't been a good recruit in four years, ever since the old coach left at the start of 2006.The only two good recruits were two girls that came to Eastern for graduate school and had one year of eligibility, that means they weren't recruited and I don't give the coach credit for them.

The biggest problem I think is no one cares enough about XC/Track, so as long as they aren't spending too much money or bugging administration the coaches somehow have job security it seems, it's obviously not about performance. Every athlete from the old coach and some new one's have quit or transferred and no one new has been recruited in there place under this new coach and nothing has been done about it.

P.S. I'm not blaming the athletes or trying to put down someone's performance, I believe everyone should have a chance to compete collegiately and respect anyone that does. A good team is built on recruiting and good coaching and I don't see that happening on the guys or girls side.
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Obzerver
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I concur doesn't the GSL put out a great XC product? Same goes with the womens soccer program...another down year with 2 wins 13 losses and a tie...the coaching pair need to change things, start recruiting better(again GSL and Tri-Cities loaded with players) or move out.
marceagfan5
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Obzerver wrote:I concur doesn't the GSL put out a great XC product? Same goes with the womens soccer program...another down year with 2 wins 13 losses and a tie...the coaching pair need to change things, start recruiting better(again GSL and Tri-Cities loaded with players) or move out.
Both the GSL and Northwestern Montana have great high school cross country programs, Eastern should be able to field solid teams year in, year out, with these two regions alone.
National Champions!!!
marcrev
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Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:26 pm

Although I agree the XC team didn't preform well this year. To say there has been no good recruits in the last four years is absolutely absurd. Kyle King is a great runner and Cody, Bowe, Simon and Graham are also very solid. Wake up and do the research! There have been records set in the last four years in XC and distant track especially with the men's track team.
eagalum
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:22 pm

What records have been set? Tell me who even ran distance track last year, you obvously dont follow it because hardly anyone even qualified for conference. Trust me I've done my research. First off are Kyle and Cody transferring for there last year or staying there? What all conference performances have you seen? And over four years only 1 or 2 actually good guys? Really? FOUR YEARS! What football or basketball coach could have those odds and keep there jobs?

And what about the girls team?
CheneyLocal
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:52 pm

I have to agree with egalalum.
It is an embarassment. Recruiting is 75% of being a succesful team. You can have the greatest training program in the world, but without the talent it is useless. The fact that there are zero prospects in the future is a firable offense. How can you call yourself a college coach if you are not actively recruiting? High school coaches recruit better than EWU. 6-7 years ago EWU xc was placing top 3 in conference and they were cutting people from the team. I know ups and downs are part of sports, but there has been no effort to rebuild what the previous coach had built. Which was a culture of working hard, smart, and being competitive.
I can handle bad performances, they happen. But the complete lack of care for this once competitive team is an insult to all those that have come through the xc program.

I'm not even going to touch the girls team because it is not a team. It is a group of girls that want to lose weight together. With the exception of maybe 1 or 2. There was another program that was competeing for top 3 in conference years ago.
turbo_jav
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:33 pm

This thread is a joke. Easterns current mens athletes are faster in pretty much every event 800m and above than 6-7 years ago.
CheneyLocal
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:52 pm

6-7 years ago:
6 guys under 3:55in the 1500
4 guysunder 14:30 in 5000
4 flirting with 9:00 in 3000

Are you kidding me dude. I was on those teams. You have no idea what you are talking about. This team has one, maybe two guys that are close to meeting those times consistently. That's a big maybe. That's not even the most important part, the important fact is that this coach will not be able to field a whole team.
CheneyLocal
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Oops. Flirting with 8:00 in the 3000
turbo_jav
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Considering EWU's school record is 8:07 for the 3k I highly doubt there were 4 guys "flirting" with 8 flat...
jungle
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:11 pm

CheneyLocal wrote:6-7 years ago:
6 guys under 3:55in the 1500
4 guysunder 14:30 in 5000
4 flirting with 9:00 in 3000

Are you kidding me dude. I was on those teams. You have no idea what you are talking about. This team has one, maybe two guys that are close to meeting those times consistently. That's a big maybe. That's not even the most important part, the important fact is that this coach will not be able to field a whole team.
Considering the school record is 8:07, that isn't the truth. But nice try. 6-7 years ago, the school record was 8:11 with second place being 8:22. Now those times are second and 6th. So not only in the past few years has the the record been broken, but another 3 people were better than what used to be the second best time Eastern ever had. So unless 8:30 and above is "flirting with 8:00", i would have to call you on that one.
And as for your "6 guys under 3:55", i have a feeling you're exaggerating on that as well to try and boost your ego. Only one guy from 6-7 years ago is even on the all time list, and that's Branden Fuller. So if you expect me to believe these other so-called 5 runners were between 3:52 and 3:54.9, i would find that hard to believe.
For your comment about the 5k, only 7 people have been under 14:30 outdoors for Eastern, and only one of those guys were from 6-7 years ago (John Timeus). And indoor, only 3 have been under 14:30, and once again, only one was from 6-7 years ago (John Timeus).

So even though I agree that the past few years, especially this one, have been not so good in cross, the team is definitely going to improve from here on out. Eastern might be losing Kyle, Bowe, and Graham, but the people they're picking up are younger, and have a good possibility of being as good or even better as soon as they get here. The problem isn't that the people who come here don't have talent, it's more about staying healthy. And in past years i would have agreed with you on the fact that the coach needs to do a better job on recruiting, but with the people returning combined with who is coming in next year, the team in the next few years will be better than ever both in track and cross country. If you want specifics, just keep talking. I'm the stat man, so if you're going to try to talk like that about how bad Eastern is, you should start using actual statistics from now on.
eagalum
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:22 pm

First off, should we even talk about the girls team or have you already given up that fight before it started, since results don't lie? There have been some good female athletes, coincidently those athletes were transfers going to EWU for grad school, meaning NOT RECRUITED BY ZELLER. He got lucky to get some girls that already had talent and ran fast. Remind you of some other people on his resume? Once Chris Zeller took over the very good program from Coach Hilton with record breaking talent and big sky qualifiers across the board with men and women things went downhill.

Who else was good in those first years of Chris Zeller? Timeus and Suver and Limpf broke records, Smyth on similar pace, Helm and Justus had potential, the Only runner that Chris Zeller recruited his first year wasn't even the third fastest girl on the team. He had a 5k PR of 17:14 in college! (I'm not trying to put down any individual athletes performances, i'm trying to put down the coaches performance). What happened to every single athlete that was recruited by Coach Hilton? Suver transferred, Timeus quit early, Smyth transferred, Helm and Justus quit. On the women's side everyone graduated except Bridgmon who also transferred. Paul Limpf stayed and ran pretty well and does deserve props, Coach Hilton deserves major props for RECRUITING him.

Let's just stick to the guys now since i believe there is zero debate about the girls, and maybe you have a point here and there about the guys.

So what happens next? Zeller recruited Ebding, Vaux, then Barton, King and Sorenson. So from 2007 to now, Zeller lost over five guys and recruited five decent guys. Average of one good recruit a year? REALLY? Not as good as before (proof is in the results this isn't an argument) but solid group of guys for big sky, i'll say that. Barton and King redshirted almost a whole year, and now are transferring and not even finishing with what seems to be the common denominator (Chris Zeller). So at EWU under Zeller you are allowed to redshirt then transfer or quit? Again, i'm not putting down these guys or girls, it is not their fault! I'm sure they all work as hard as they can under the circumstances, but I have just gotten sick of watching this team crumble more and more and Zeller still has his job, and I feel sooo bad for all these athletes not being set up for future success.

Should we address the nearly world record breaking times when Zeller put together the XC conference championships in Cheney? 21:28 8k? Averaging 4:19/mile? I can understand being +/- 50meters off, but running a 7k instead of 8k? YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME? Kyle King can run 13:50 in XC windy, cold conditions and keep running another 3k in 8:18? I'm pretty sure there is zero debate that the course was Ridiculously short, and i'm pretty sure we can't argue who is to blame for this can we?
http://www.goeags.com/sports/c-xc/2010- ... ltsMen.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Also to address the "stat man", Let's look at Hilton recruited athletes (6-7) years ago vs. Zeller athletes. Remember we are talking about who recruited these runners, not about who inherited them, so not times from 2004 vs 5 years of times from Zeller, which as a team Hilton still wins.

Maybe that four guys flirting with 8 in the 3k was stretching it, flirting with 8:07 is more correct for you?
3000m-
Timeus(8:08), Smyth(8:14), Suver(8:07) and Limpf(8:11) (4 guys) all recruits of the old coach.
So Kyle King (8:13) is the only one that can mix it up with that, and HE IS TRANSFERRING! (aka leaving the coach)

1500?
Fuller (3:46), Suver (3:48), Smyth (3:51), Helm (3:51), Timeus, (3:52), Kellog (3:52), Conrick (3:55), Hewitt (sub 4) the list goes on but i don't feel like digging deeper.

5k?
Limpf(14:09), Timeus(:19), Suver(:24), Smyth(:32), Fuller(:38), and King (:35) who I count against Coach Zeller yet again since...... should i even say it? He is leaving.

So who does Zeller have to compete with these guys? Ebding and Vaux may be sneaking into the backfield, but I am hesitant to count them fully as Zeller athletes because the work ethic of them may have been developed from former Hilton athletes. But I understand that is up for debate and you can deny that which is fine.

I appreciate you acknowledging these past couple rocky years, and i'd give leeway to the coach like you are doing if it wasn't his 5th year coaching. Now there are no more excuses. As for injuries, and better team next year, tell me at what year do you give up future hope? ten years? Someone has to do something about the coach who is in control of other runners lives and futures. Go work in some other profession where you don't have young student-athletes futures in the palm of your hand!

So stat man, you said if we wan't specifics to keep talking? Please give me those specific future results you are predicting? Or debate my past results with guys that consistently put up good times and actually are healthy once big sky's comes around. I didn't feel like doing it, but if you want to rebuttle, why don't you look at the girls results? Which girls that weren't transfers would have even made it in the top 7 on Hiltons team? Dye? Maybe the 7-8 runner. Anyone else?

I like your optimism but soon you will see reality, who quits, transfers, doesn't show up next year, and you will realize you are waiting another five years to see even worse results. Wait until you are an alumni like us and are angry about what has happened to this program. It can be easy to deny reality, but in this case the grass is greener on the other side.
CheneyLocal
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:52 pm

I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say guys in the 805-815 range are flirtung with 8. As far as your "stats", I'd say the last post proved you need a better source. But I like the attempt to argue it with a guy that was on that team and witnessed those times get run.
jungle
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:11 pm

You have made a lot more good points than I expected. Who ran 17:14 in high school?

And I already agreed with you on the fact that for the past few years, the coach isn't doing as well as he could have on recruits. Girls, like you said, aren't even worth debating against you with, because like you, I'm not happy about it at all, and i'm not even an alumni. All because of the football team, the girls team can recruit anyone and everyone that comes along, and he doesn't hesitate to oblige. The girls team needs to have some sort of standards on who is let on the team, which hasn't happened, it's a D1 college after all, and without trying to call anyone out specifically, there shouldn't be people running above 2:40, 6:00, etc. And i'm just putting those cut off times because there were girls that were indeed running above those times this year, i feel like the cutoff times should be even lower than that. It's embarrassing when you're taking up the last couple of spots in every invite you go to. Even though there are tons of girls that don't deserve to be on the team, he is still starting to get better with his recruiting on the girls' side. Mahoney, Penaloza, Rodriguez, and Bravo are all girls that have ran pretty damn good times from a 2:14 800 all the way up to low 18s for a cross 5k, with three more girls that are more than likely coming here next year, which would put them with at least 5 girls that have all ran under 18:40 for a 5k in cross. Which since i sadly don't pay as much attention to the girls due to the "anybody can join" streak the coach has going on, I still know that's an improvement from the last couple years of his recruiting.

On the guys' side, however, he has made quite a few good pickups, and even more to come. Pettit, Curnutt, Mellgren, Sorensen, and Avila were all in that 1:52-1:54 range in high school, and have the potential to go under 1:50 this outdoor or next year, along with Boersma and Thor who are coming in next year. For the mile, Olivas, Sorensen, Mellgren, Curnutt, and Avila were all mid-4:1x.x to low 4:20s, along with Boersma, Thor, and potentially Kimsey next year. The longer distances, i'll agree, need some work, but he's getting there. Coming in next year is Hamilton who ran 4:12 for the mile, 8:58 for the 2 mile, 14:30 for the 5k, along with a 24:20/30:30 in cross (and he's just a freshman, he still has to finish out this year of track in which he could bring down those times even more), along with Kimsey who ran 9:20 for the 2 mile last year (and should bring it down a bit in track this year) and ran 15:35 in the 5k (a solid time for any high schooler, and a much better high school time than many of his recruits who he has recruited in the past), and Boersma stepped up to a 15:20 5k this year and doesn't show any progress of slowing his improvement by opening up his indoor season with a 1:53.1 indoors, a killer time for a high schooler, especially indoors. He also picked up Schroll this year who ran low-31s for the 10k in cross, which i feel is more than good enough to be a good scorer on Eastern's cross team. So with Boersma, Hamilton, Kimsey, Mellgren, Schroll, Sorensen, and Thor all on the cross team along with others that have the potential to step it up, the cross team is looking to be a lot better in the upcoming years than it has been. Curnutt, Pettit, Mellgren, Boersma, Sorensen, Olivas, and Hamilton (along with others i've mentioned), have the potential and natural talent to score big at big sky and set records at Eastern, especially in the middle distances, which is something the team from 6-7 years ago could have used a little more depth in. I'll give it to you, up until recently, i'll agree he hasn't done as good as he can in recruiting, but with all the people returning along with the recruits coming in, it makes up a decently young team that will not only be good next year, but especially in future years.

I'm not trying to put down the team from 6-7 years ago, the coach was great from what i have heard, and he did a great job recruiting all those runners you were referring to. That was a good team for sure. To me it seemed like Cheneylocal was trying to say that all those guys were running those times at the same time, which in reality, even though the old coach may have recruited many of them, the majority of them began running those times after the new coach took over. Which is why Limpf has repeatedly thanked Zeller for his success and not the old coach for recruiting him. College is a lot different than high school, and most coaches don't start off at their max potential. I'm not going to stand up for him saying that he's the best coach I have had, because there are quite a few things I think he could improve on, but he's improving. And i think that this next year and the years that follow, you will see a big improvement in the quality of the times, athletes, and hopefully the coaching here at Eastern. Because the guys team easily has the potential/natural talent, and the work ethic to do really well in the Big Sky. We will just have to wait and see though.

If we go with just the past couple of years though, you're right, I can't argue against that, Eastern could use some improvement in recruiting and times excluding a select few of occasions, but as you can see, the team is easily going to start stepping up in the near, near future.
CheneyLocal
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The only ones not run under Dans tenure were from Limpf and Suver. All the rest he coached because they were run my freshman and sophomore years. Once again I was on the team, and you obviously were not or you would know these things.
Also, I remember Zeller telling us we were getting a bunch of Spokane stud recruits and they magically didn't show up. I've heard that song and dance.
jungle
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jungle
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jungle
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One last thing, since after reading through all this again and seeing that we all at least partially agree on the coaching part, and as much as I agree that there is room for improvement, we can't blame it all on the coaching. Most of the team has some attitudes that don't help at all. If they have a bad race, rather than having the mindset "When I get back I'm going to train my ass off to make sure this doesn't happen again", the majority would prefer "when I get back I'm going to get high/drunk off my ass". Along with the fact that many people on the team would prefer to just tell Zeller that they did a certain workout or long run or make up some fake excuses for why they cant make it to practice rather than actually doing it. I understand that its college, but there comes a certain level of dedication that I haven't seen from the athletes the last few years if they want a program that is like the one you're talking about or even better. We have more than enough talent returning and coming in, but the combination of coaching (sorry if you're reading this Zeller) with the attitudes the majority of the team display are what causes this. And I know for a fact that they didn't act this way because of Chris, it was because of all the people they trained with when they were freshman and sophomores.
And maybe those were the attitudes 6-7 years ago too, but (1) I wasn't on the team so I wouldn't know and (2) I'm sure the higher level programs don't have everyone acting like that. So don't take this as me standing up for Chris, I'm just standing up for the talent the athletes have that come here. I know they have the potential and natural talent to do great things along with the people coming in, and don't get me wrong, when they show up to the workouts, they typically work hard when they finish them, but in addition to the better job Chris could be doing (which with the talent he has brought in lately, I feel like his recruiting is improving. It's just his program that could use tweaks here and there), the athletes could be doing a better job as well. But that's all I have to say about that, I agree the team
Has been down the last couple of years, and like I said, I think with the talent returning added to the talent that has already signed, it will start to improve again. We just need the coach along with the athletes to step it up a little (or a lot).
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