Bradley University's XC Exploits Dominate Alumni Report

The men's and women's harriers continue to excel in MVC competition 

Peoria, IL-
(Bradley University Athletics press release)
For the second-straight season and the third time in the last four years, the Bradley cross country teams swept through the Missouri Valley Conference Championship on Saturday morning at Newman Golf Course. The men's team became the first school in 35 years to win a fourth-straight crown, while the women won for the fourth time in five years and for the fifth time overall in school history.

"Loyola's women's and Illinois State's men's teams are really strong programs and I knew we would get a challenge," said Bradley head coach Darren Gauson. "I have to give credit to our team, however, with their mentality, execution, and desire to win. It takes a lot of dedication throughout the year and getting better every single week and that's exactly what we've done during the season. You can't ask for more than two team championships and a lot of all-conference honorees so I'm thrilled with today's performances."
The women opened the championship meet by collecting the program's fifth crown (previously won titles in 1998, 2014, 2015 and 2017). Bradley finished with five runners in the top 20 to score 51 points, defeating second-place Loyola (75 points) and third-place Illinois State (85).
Junior Gabby Juarez collected all-conference honors for the first time during her career to lead the Bradley charge, placing third in a time of 17:17.9. Her time goes down as the fifth-fastest 5K in school history and her third-place finish is the best by a Brave since Caitlin Busch won the 2015 crown. 

A pair of freshmen followed Juarez to also earn all-conference honors for the Braves. Tyler Schwartz placed fourth overall in 17:19.7 - the sixth-best time in school history - and also earned Valley Freshman of the Year honors with her performance. Schwartz registered the second-best finish by a Bradley rookie at the meet as only Nicole Benson's second-place running in 2009 was better. Classmate Ayah Aldadah became the fifth Bradley freshman in school history to place in the top 10 as a rookie when she ran 17:38.1 to finish 10th overall.
Senior Brooke Nusser and junior Abby Jockisch rounded out the scoring for BU, placing 16th and 18th in 17:57.1 and 18:00.9, respectively.
The Bradley men placed six runners in the top 15 on Saturday as it became the first school since Southern Illinois from 1980 to 1983 to win four-straight Valley crowns. The Braves took the team title with 40 total points to top runner-up Illinois State by 31 points.
Seniors Michael Ward and Haran Dunderdale and junior Jake Hoffert all collected first-team All-Valley accolades after placing in the top 10 on Saturday. For Ward and Hoffert, they became just the third and fourth Braves in school history to collect all-conference honors three times in cross country, joining Rod Collins (1964-66) and Eric Huey (1980, 82-83) on the exclusive list.
Ward paced the Braves with a second-place finish, running the 8K course in 24:04.7 and just missing his school record by over a second (ran 24:03.07 during the 2015 Valley Championship). Dunderdale finished sixth overall to collect All-Valley honors in cross country for the first time in his collegiate career, running the seventh-fastest time in BU history at 24:21.5. Hoffert then rounded out the top-10 finishers for Bradley, placing ninth with the eighth-fastest mark in the program's record book at 24:33.5.
Bradley showcased its depth with three additional runners in the top-15 to receive honorable mention to the all-conference team - no other team placed six in the top 35. Junior Luke Hoffert ran 11th in his first MVC Championship in 24:40.8, while junior Will Anderson followed in 12th at 24:49.5 and freshman Jack Franklin in 15th at 25:00.4. Franklin also collected Valley Freshman of the Year honors as the top-placing rookie in the meet.
Gauson was named the Valley Coach of the Year for both the men's and women's programs on Saturday as he has now collected the accolade for the seventh time in four years on The Hilltop. Juarez also received the league's Elite 17 award, which combines athletic and academic achievement.
The Braves now continue the campaign in two weeks right back at Newman Golf Course with the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship. The top teams from nine states in the region will run with bids for the NCAA Championship on the line on Friday, Nov. 9, beginning at 11 a.m.

Oct 22, 2018 - Oct 28, 2018

Men's Events

8000 Meter Run

Women's Events

5000 Meter Run

6,000 Meter Run