The Bradley cross country team was represented by two runners at the NCAA National Championship Meet. Senior Taylor FloydMews and sophomore Jake Hoffert competed at the meet in Louisville on Nov. 18th. Both Braves fared well in the highly competitive race.
FloydMews closed out his collegiate cross country career with a time of 31:06 in the 10-kilometer race, placing him 146th out of 254 runners. FloydMews’s time was the eighth best in Bradley history.
Hoffert was not far behind FloydMews with a time of 31:12 and a 156th place finish.
It was both Hoffert and FloydMews’s first time competing at the national level, and Hoffert said just participating in the meet helped him grow as a runner.
“It was a good learning experience,” Hoffert said. “I have never run in a meet that competitive before.”
Head coach Darren Gauson said he was pleased with the efforts of his runners at the championship.
“Just to make it there is really difficult, but for them to beat a good amount of strong runners is excellent,” Gauson said. “I am really proud of what those guys did this year.”
According to Gauson, running as an individual opposed to as a team presents additional challenges for a runner and makes competing even more difficult.
“It is always hard when you don’t have a team and you just have two individuals,” Gauson said.
Hoffert said it was nice to have a teammate in such a large race instead of running alone.
“You kind of look for him out there during the race because he is the only guy out there,” Hoffert said. “It is nice to have a familiar face to look for.”
FloydMews and Hoffert were the second and third Bradley athletes in history to qualify for the meet. The first was Michael Ward last year, who redshirted this cross country season.
The championship marked the end of the season for cross country. Gauson said he is happy with how the team performed this year and hopes to build off the finish for next season.
“This meet caps off a great year for our program,” Gauson said. “Next year, we will try to get the whole team at the national meet and finish better.”