Junior Joel Hartenberger (Albuquerque, N.M./Sandia) led the Valparaiso men’s cross country team for the third time in as many meets this year, setting a new personal best in the 8K as the Crusaders ran in the Gold Race Friday afternoon at the Notre Dame Invitational.
Valpo tallied 543 points for the meet, taking 18th place as a team. North Central won the team title with 46 points, while DePaul’s Matt Graham earned individual top honors.
Hartenberger covered the eight-kilometer course Friday in 26:11, crossing the line in 56th place. The junior lowered his previous career best at the distance by ten seconds from last year’s Evansville Invitational. Sophomore Nick Fagan (Sycamore, Ill./Sycamore) put together an impressive run as well, slicing over a minute off his career-best 8K time as he completed the race in 27:28, good for 121st place.
Sophomore Jordan Piaskowy (Crete, Ill./Illiana Christian) was the next Crusader runner across the line, posting a 138th-place finish with his time of 27:51. Sophomore Blane Bowen (Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc) was the third Valpo runner to finish the race with a career-best time, covering the course in 28:16 to finish 151st, while senior David Carter (Arlington Heights, Ill./John Hersey) rounded out the Crusader scorers with a 155th place showing in 28:25.
Valparaiso returns to action in two weeks, on Friday, October 16, as the Crusaders cross the state line to the west to compete in Peoria at the Bradley Classic. The meet is slated for a 4:15 p.m. start.