The Valparaiso University men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to East Lansing, Mich. for the Spartan Invitational on Friday morning, battling tough running conditions at the meet with the heat and humidity. Senior Kim Heiny (Burnettsville, Ind./Twin Lakes) led the women in the 6K and sophomore Victor Fortin (East Peoria, Ill./Peoria Notre Dame) paced the men in the 8K race.
How It Happened
- Fortin crossed the line at 27:33.2 as the first Crusader across the line. In his first two meets of the season, he has two top-three finishes for the team.
- Senior Sidney Noble (Powhatan, Va./Powhatan) trailed Fortin by two seconds to finish in 27:35.4, to earn his second consecutive top-two placing for the Crusaders.
- Freshman Dominic Paoletti (Monroe, Mich./Monroe St. Mary) earned the third spot for the Brown and Gold, finishing in 28:28.0. Stemming from his strong performance at the Crusader Invite, the rookie concluded his first collegiate 8K race.
- Sophomore Tim Zange (Robins, La./Kennedy) tallied a 29:02.0, surpassing all of his 8K performances from a season ago.
- Senior Patrick Vieck (Metamora, Ill./Metamora), juniors Ben Zibricky (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln Way Central), Tyler Grimes (Indianapolis, Ind./Perry Meridian) and Connor Hickey (Peru, Ill./LaSalle-Peru), and freshmen Joey Black (O’Fallon, Ill./O’Fallon) and Nate Izewski (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) all competed for Valpo as well.
- Heiny led the women’s squad for the second time this season, crossing the finish in 24:18.8. The captain garnered the team’s only top-100 finish of the day.
- Sophomore Katherine Germann (Cincinnati, Ohio/Finneytown) ran a 24:59.4, improving on her 6K times from last year. She trimmed over two minutes off her best 6K time.
- Freshmen Sarah Caesar (Fox River Grove, Ill./Cary-Grove), Olivia Recker (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) and Kathleen Neal (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville) raced in their first 6K meets for the Crusaders. Caesar ended third for Valpo, crossing in 25:15.3.
- Sophomores Kate Mitchell (Algonquin, Ill./Huntley), Nicole Berneche (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West), Celia McGhiey (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) and Taylor Justison (Chatham, Ill./Glenwood) rounded out the runners for Valpo.
The Crusaders return to action on Friday, Sept. 29 as they travel east to Notre Dame for their Invitational. The meet will begin at 12 p.m. CT.