Junior Liz Bloy (Freedom, Wis./Freedom) paced the Crusader pack for the third straight meet as the Valparaiso women's cross country team finished in 19th place Friday afternoon at the Joe Piane Invitational in Notre Dame. Junior Alex Bruno (Bloomington, Ill./University) rallied the effort for the men's team as they turned in an 18th place result.
The women's team totaled 553 points for their 19th-place result in the Gold race. Butler took the team title with a 106-point finish.
Bloy crossed the line in the 5K course with a time of 19:0.6, good for 99th place out of a 150-runner field. Sophomore Kim Heiny (Burnettsville, Ind./Twin Lakes) was the second Crusader across the line, finishing the race in 114th place with a time of 19:36.2, while junior Tori Tamburrino (West Dundee, Ill./Jacobs) covered the course in 20:09.5.
Senior Sophia Robinson (Downers Grove, Ill./South) continued the Valpo contingent of runners, claiming a 135th-place finish with a time of 20:23.0. Hannah Schilling (Fraser, Mich./Lutheran North) was the fifth Crusader to finish. She did so in 20:34.5, garnering her 140th place. Dezzarae Arce (Orland Park, Ill./Victor J. Andrew) rounded out the pack with a 20:51.5 time, good for 146th place.
The men's team accumulated 522 points en route to its 18th-place finish. Clemson emerged with the team victory with just 53 points and three top 10 finishes.
Bruno led Valpo for the second time this fall, crossing the line in 102nd place with a time of 26:35.4. Junior Dan Walters (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) was the next-highest Crusader finisher, covering the five-mile course in 26:47.2, good for 111th place.
Junior Jesse Greenhagen (Waverly, Minn./Mayer Lutheran) finished right on Walters' heels with a 26:47.5 time. Classmate Max Morello (Plano, Ill./Plano) finished in 124th place thanks to a 27:08.0 result. Rookies Adam Bruno (Bloomington, Ill./University) and Leland Robertson (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) both completed the track in 27:15.2 for 127th/128th place finishes.
Ben Zibricky (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln Way Central) recorded a 27:28.6 time (131st place) while Nathan Gafkjen (Fishers, Ind./Fishers) turned in a 27:49.7 finish. Jack Mader (Granger, Ind./Penn) wrapped up the day for Valpo with a 28:57.4 race.
The Crusaders return to action in two weeks, as they travel to Peoria, Illinois to compete in the Bradley "Pink" Invitational. The meet is set to begin at 3:00 pm CT.