Senior Wally Bradford (Mukwonago, Wis./Mukwonago) opened the season for the Valparaiso men’s cross country team with a 16th-place finish at Friday’s Crusader Open.
The Crusaders finished third, adding up 85 points on the meet. Purdue took the team title with 27 points, with Matt McClintock crossing the finish line first for the Boilermakers.
Bradford ran the six-kilometer course on Friday evening in a time of 20:24.4, setting a good pace for the Crusaders. Sophomore David Rutkowski (Cedarburg, Wis./Living Word Lutheran) came in only two places behind Bradford placing 18th overall and posting a time of 20:40.3. Only two places behind Rutkowski, in 20th, came sophomore Eric Hikock (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) with a time of 20:49.8.
Crossing the finish line in 21:00.7 and 23rd overall was sophomore Trace Ostergren (LaPorte, Ind./Culver Academy). A trio of Valparaiso runners came in 25th – 27th positions, rounding out the Crusader’s top-seven runners. Sophomore Eric Loria (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) crossed the finish line in a time of 21:12.4 for the Crusaders. Junior Matt Pryzbyla (Whitmore Lake, Mich./Pinckney) came in just seconds before senior teammate Joe Johnson (Darien, Ill./Downers Grove South), with times of 21:25.6 and 21:31.0.
Valparaiso returns to action in two weeks as the Crusaders travel to Terre Haute, Ind. to take part of the Indiana Intercollegiates meet. The men’s race is scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. CDT start.