The Valparaiso University men’s and women’s cross country teams had their first road trip of the 2018-19 season on Friday as they traveled to Peoria, Ill. to compete in the Bradley Intercollegiate. The men were highlighted by a pair of Top 10 finishes, including a 10th-place finish by freshman Ignacio Veloz-Bonilla (San Juan, P.R./American Military Academy) and a fifth-place finish by redshirt junior Alexander Bruno (Bloomington, Ill./University). In the women’s race, Valpo was led by junior Katherine Germann (Cincinnati, Ohio/Finneytown), who finished 10th overall, as well as freshman Sarah Messerschmidt (Tower Lakes, Ill./Barrington), who finished 19th on the evening.
How It Happened
- Valpo was again led by Bruno, who rounded out the Top 5 overall, crossing the finish line in 25:14.5. It was a historic evening for the redshirt junior, as his time is now the eighth-best in program history, and was the fastest recorded time by a Valpo runner since 2001.
- Coming off an impressive performance at Sunset Hills in his first race in the brown and gold, Veloz-Bonilla was the second Valpo runner to finish for the second consecutive event, stopping the clock at 25:47.6.
- Two more Valpo runners finished in the Top 20 as well, as freshman Jack Worman’s (Hanover Park, Ill./Hoffman Estates) 26:00.4 finish earned him 15th overall, while sophomore Dominic Paoletti (Monroe, Mich./Monroe St. Mary) completed the circuit just five runners behind, recording a 20th overall finish in 26:32.0. Valpo finished third overall as a team in the race.
- Germann led the pack in the women’s race for Valpo on Friday, notching a 17:47.0 finish, earning a 10th place finish in the process.
- Valpo also rallied behind freshman Sarah Messerschmidt (Tower Lakes, Ill./Barrington), who — after a solid debut of her own at Sunset Hills — followed up with another great effort in Peoria, finishing 19th overall and second on the team in 19:01.4.
- Rounding out the Top 25 were sophomore Sarah Caesar (Fox River Grove, Ill./Cary-Grove) and junior Taylor Justison (Chatham, Ill./Glenwood), whose 24th and 25th places finishes, respectively, propelled Valpo to a fourth-place finish as a team. Caesar crossed the finish in 19:27.1, and Justison followed right behind her with a time of 19:36.9.
Valpo will now look to continue its momentum going into its next meet, when they will compete at the Greater Louisville Championship in Louisville, Ky. on Saturday, Sept. 29.