Paced by sophomore Chris Honig (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard South), Valparaiso matched its best finish in Mid-Continent Conference Championship history, placing fourth at the championship meet Saturday in Lee's Summit, Mo.
Honig covered the eight-kilometer course in a time of 26:59.25, placing 11th out of the field of 66 runners. He finished just a fraction of a second outside of the top-10, and earned second team All-Conference honors for his run.
Joining Honig on the league's second team was sophomore Leandro Schultz (Valleyview, Ohio/Brecksville-Broadview Heights), who finished 14th with a time of 27:07.30. Schultz's finish marked a 32-place improvement over his result at last year's conference meet. It also marked the first time since 2000 that multiple Crusader runners have been honored as All-Conference performers.
Sophomore Jim Turchyn (Batesville, Ind./Batesville) was the next Crusader runner to complete the course, coming home 19th in 27:37.61. Following Turchyn was Adriano Schultz (Brecksville, Ohio/Brecksville-Broadview Heights), who completed the race in 27:58.13, good for 29th place. Jordan Stanfill's (Goshen, Ind./Goshen) 36th place finish in 28:18.65 rounded out the Crusaders' team scoring.
Valpo totaled 107 points in its fourth place finish, just 10 points out of third place. Southern Utah captured the team title with 15 points, earning the best possible team score by sweeping the top five positions, the first time that has been done in Mid-Con history. The Thunderbirds' Jess Baumgartner took individual top honors for the second time in three years, completing the course in 25:28.58.
Valpo will be back in action in two weeks on Saturday, November 11 at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional in Bowling Green, Ohio. The ten-kilometer race is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m.