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Bradford Leads Valpo Pack at Crusader Open
A trio of Crusaders compete Friday at the Crusader Open. (Ray Acevedo)
A trio of Crusaders compete Friday at the Crusader Open. (Ray Acevedo)

Friday, September 02, 2011

Junior Wally Bradford (Mukwonago, Wis./Mukwonago) ran to a 13th-place finish Friday at the season-opening Crusader Open to pace the Valparaiso men’s cross country team.

The Crusaders totaled 98 points on the meet, finishing fourth out of the four competing squads.  Marquette took the team title with 22 points, while the Golden Eagles’ Blake Johnson crossed the finish line first.

Bradford covered the five-kilometer course on Friday evening in a time of 16:28.5, good for the 13th-place showing and just 12 seconds outside of the top-10.  Senior Nick Fagan (Sycamore, Ill./Sycamore) was the next runner to cross the line for the Crusaders, placing 24th overall with a time of 16:42.6.

A pair of Valpo runners came across the line back-to-back for 32nd and 33rd place showings.  Freshman Eric Hickok (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) covered the terrain in 17:13.9, while he was followed by senior Jordan Piaskowy (Crete, Ill./Illiana Christian), who registered a time of 17:14.9.  Junior Joe Johnson (Darien, Ill./Downers Grove South) rounded out Valpo’s top-five runners with a 40th-place finish, coming home in 17:39.2.

Valparaiso returns to action in two weekends, as the Crusaders travel to Annapolis, Md. on Saturday, Sept. 17 to take part in the Navy Invitational.  The first race from the Naval Academy is slated for a 10 a.m. CDT start.