For the third straight week, Bradley’s men and women’s track teams broke a school record.
Bradley only sent four athletes to South Bend, Indiana for the Alex Wilson Invitational, which was hosted by Notre Dame and entertained some of the top track athletes nationwide.
Others travelled to Champaign for the Orange & Blue Classic, which was hosted by the University of Illinois.
At the Alex Wilson Invitational, freshman Michael Ward took the top spot in the mile run by a half-second in a close finish. Ward clocked a 4:06.35 for the win and beat his own school record by two seconds.
“[Ward] was a phenomenal athlete coming in,” head coach Willy Wood said. “Now he’s in great shape and getting used to racing over in the American system rather than the English system. What he’s been able to do so far is wonderful, but it’s only the beginning of what he’s capable of.”
Although Ward was the winner, the other men who travelled to Notre Dame weren’t just an afterthought. Sophomore Daniel Gagne came in right after Ward at 4:09:46, and freshman Haran Dunderdale followed Gagne with a time of 4:12:01, for the third-best and fifth-best times in school history.
“All of the top teams in the country were at Notre Dame,” Ward said. “It was the best meet in the country that was going on during that weekend. It was encouraging to see our runners go there and run the best times of their lives. This is the second week in a row that this group lined up against such great competition. Although they’re really young, they’re maturing fast.”
Junior Emily Delvo was the only representative for the women’s team at Notre Dame. She clocked a career-best time of 2:09.98 in the 800 meter, which is the second-best time in school history.
Wood described the Orange & Blue Classic as a “tuneup” to get the runners ready for the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Champs.
Senior Kyela Sprecht for the women and junior Evan Tuisl for the men both ran the 800 meter; junior Marshall Moyer, sophomore Patrick Campbell and freshman Jennifer Luksan ran the 3,000 meter; sophomore Lauren Cunningham ran the women’s mile; and junior Elizabeth Duchter ran the 60 meter hurdles and threw shot put.
Coach Wood said that this weekend succeeded in preparing the team for the MVC Championships this upcoming weekend in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
“We feel good going into the championships,” Wood said. “Everyone is confident, everyone is healthy, everyone is fit, and we haven’t had any interruptions in the training. Everyone is anticipating doing well.”