Juniors Max Morello (Plano, Ill./Plano) and Liz Bloy (Freedom, Wis./Freedom) led the effort for the Valpo cross country teams at Friday's Pink Classic held by Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. The men recorded a 22nd place finish while the women registered a 28th place result.
Morello paced the Crusaders for the first time this season thanks to his 26:07.5 time in the 8K race. He finished four seconds ahead of fellow junior Jesse Greenhagen (Waverly, Minn./Mayer Lutheran). Rookie Leland Robertson (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids) stopped the clock at 26:36.5. Robertson's time was more than a minute and a half faster than his 8K finish at the Friendship Invitational four weeks ago.
Ben Zibricky (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln Way Central) registered a 26:40.1 result, just 2.7 seconds ahead of teammate junior Dan Walters (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point). Junior Adam Bruno (Bloomington, Ill./University) came in under the 27:00 mark as he posted a 26:58.3 finish. Senior Nathan Gafkjen (Fishers, Ind./Fishers) rounded out the top-7 for the Brown and Gold, crossing the finish line at 27:42.4.
For Morello, Greenhagen, Robertson, Zibricky, and Walters, their times represented personal records.
On the women's side, Bloy led the Crusader charge as she has all season. Her 22:14.3 time was good for 107th place in the 30-team meet. Sophomore Kim Heiny (Burnettsville, Ind./Twin Lakes) was the second Valpo runner to complete the 6K course. She posted a 23:01.9 result. Junior Tori Tamburrino (West Dundee, Ill./Jacobs) stopped the clock at 23:48.4, ten seconds ahead of teammate Sophia Robinson (Downers Grove, Ill./South). Seniors Dezzarae Arce (Orland Park, Ill./Victor J. Andrew) and Hannah Schilling (Fraser, Mich./Lutheran North) rounded out the pack for Valpo with times of 24:35.4 and 24:44.9, respectively.
Heiny, Tamburrino, and Robinson each notched personal records.
Valpo will have two weeks off before competing in the Horizon League Championships in Dayton, Ohio. The penultimate meet begins Saturday, October 31st at 10:00 am CT.