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Cross country continues domination at Bradley Intercollegiate

Alec Danner runs ahead of the pack. Photo courtesy of Bradley Athletics.

Bradley’s cross country teams showcased their dominance this past weekend, racking up top finishes at the Bradley Intercollegiate meet. The men’s team finished in first place, while the women’s team took second to DePaul.

The Bradley men were led by historic finishes from graduate student Alec Danner and senior George Watson. Danner ran the 8k course at Detweiller Park in a time of 23:49.2, which earned him the fastest time in school history, the meet record and the MVC Male Athlete of the Week. Watson followed closely behind, running the course in a time of 23:49.7 to eclipse his own historic finish from last season.

Danner and Watson push each other to be the best in practice and competition, which has led to all-time great performances to start the season.

“I love the guy; he’s one of my best friends, but we also have that friendly competition,” Danner said. “We’re just there to push each other in practice and of course in competition. We just tee off each other in that way.”

Senior Matt Aho and sophomore Rodrigo Alvarez Gonzalez followed the duo, placing fifth and sixth respectively. Aho ran the course in 24:15.9, while Gonzalez finished in 24:18.2. The team placed four official runners in the top 10, leading them to their ninth straight Bradley Intercollegiate title.

On the women’s side, the Braves placed second, highlighted by stellar performances from undergraduate runners.

Freshman Peyton Schieppe led the Braves, placing third in the three-mile course. In her first collegiate outing, Schieppe finished at 16:49.4, the fourth-best time in Bradley history. Like Danner, Schieppe earned Female Athlete of the Week honors from the MVC. Despite her lack of experience at the collegiate level, expectations were high for Schieppe.

“We all expected for me to finish that high, and I expected myself to finish that high,” Schieppe said.

Following behind Schieppe was fellow freshman Anna Perry, who placed fifth, running the course in a time of 17:35. Redshirt freshman Julia de La Piedra Sitjas placed 12th in 18:07.3 and senior Lily Strauss finished up for the Braves, earning 14th overall while running the course in 18:15.3.

Head coach Darren Gauson was highly impressed with his team’s showing at their home meet.

“I thought we executed really well and performed at a high level,” Gauson said.

Three redshirt freshmen unofficially competed in the course and placed in the top ten. Caleb Lind completed the course in a time of 24:21.7, which would’ve earned him eighth place overall. Caden Simone finished the course in a time of 24:26.9, which would’ve placed him at 10th overall. Trixie Wraith finished the course in a time of 16:49.4, which would’ve earned her fourth place.

The Braves look to continue their impressive season at the Joe Piane Invite hosted by Notre Dame on Sept. 30.

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