Cross country strides into MVC championship

Sophomore Jake Hoffert was narrowly edged out by teammate Taylor FloydMews at the Bradley Classic. Photo by Cole Bredahl.
Sophomore Jake Hoffert was narrowly edged out by teammate Taylor FloydMews at the Bradley Classic. Photo by Cole Bredahl.

The Bradley cross country team hosted their last meet of the season, the Bradley Pink Classic, on Saturday. The mens and womens teams finished second and third overall, respectively.

The last and largest home meet of the season for the Braves was hosted at Newman Golf Course.

The mens team collected individual second and third place finishes from senior Taylor FloydMews and sophomore Jake Hoffert. FloydMews hung on for second as Hoffert tried to run him down at the end of the race..

I heard people cheering for him and knew he was right on my butt, FloydMews said.

FloydMews and Hoffert finished with identical times earlier in the season at the Bradley

Intercollegiate with Hoffert being the winner. At the Classic, FloydMews beat Hoffert by less than a second.

We trade places a lot, and I can always count on him to be there for me, FloydMews said. It is good to have that friendly competition.

The Braves had their next three runners finish in the top-40 to give the Braves a team score of 98, good enough for second of the 28 teams behind the University of Iowa. According to head coach Darren Gauson, the team had been working on supporting the duo of Hoffert and FloydMews.

Today, we were a lot closer behind Jake and Taylor, Gauson said. You never know what can happen. We want to cover all the bases.

On the womens side, the team was led by sophomore Mckenzie Altmayer with a 19th place finish. Altmayer was closely followed by junior Sara Piller in 22nd place.

The top five runners for the Braves all finished in top-54. According to Gauson, the depth of the womens team has been their greatest strength.

Our number-one girl has been different every single meet, Gauson said.

The usual top runner for the Braves, senior Hannah Witczak, has been battling injury all season and was sick with strep throat Friday.

Although Gauson said he wanted to win the mens and womens race, he was pleased both teams beat all other Missouri Valley Conference teams in the meet.

The Braves will compete in the Illini Open today in Champaign, but according to Gauson, the

Braves will not run their top group, ensuring they will be healthy for the upcoming Missouri Valley Conference Championships. The championships take place next Saturday in Springfield, Missouri.