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Men Fall Short of a Sixth Straight Title as Both Teams Finish Second in MVC

A pack of Braves works for position at the MVC Cross Country Championship meet. Photo via Bradley Athletics.

Bradley’s men’s and women’s cross-country teams finished second at the Missouri Valley Conference championship this Wednesday in Evansville, Indiana. This marked the sixth-straight season both teams finished in the top two in the conference.

This was a quick turnaround for Bradley’s long-distance runners who competed in Cedar Falls, Iowa in the MVC Indoor Championship over the weekend, as the Braves were back on the road on Tuesday to compete in the cross-country championship on Wednesday.

The men’s team fell short of winning a record-setting sixth straight conference championship. The MVC had not seen a single team win more than five straight titles in a row. 

“The whole year we have been talking a lot about winning six in a row,” head coach Darren Gauson said after the team’s first meet in Lipscomb. “It has never been done in MVC history. The conference is over a hundred years old and it has never been done.”

Bradley finished second with 70 points behind Illinois State (24) and in front of Drake (76). The Braves did end the day with three athletes receiving all-conference honors.

Billy Hauenstein led the Braves in the 8K race and received All-Valley Team honors in his MVC Championship debut. The freshman finished sixth in the race and ran the course in 25:16.3. Joining Hauenstein on the championship were juniors Charlie Parrish at seventh and Alec Danner at eighth. 

Parrish earned his second All-Valley honors in a week after his outstanding performance in the indoor track conference championship. He ran the course in 25:21.1 closely followed by Danner with a time of 25:22.0.

Junior Matt Aho (26:06.05) and senior Alec Hartman (26:46.0) were Bradley’s two other point scorers for the Braves finishing 20th and 29th.

Bradley’s women also displayed a very good performance in the 5K race with three all-conference runners. The team finished second behind Loyola (26) and in front of Drake (94). This marked the eighth straight year the Braves have finished in the top two in the MVC with four championships in the process.

Senior McKenzie Altmayer received All-Valley honors for the third time in her career and led the Braves in sixth place crossing the line after 17:39.0. Following Altmayer were sophomore Sophia McDonnell finishing ninth and freshman Wilma Nielsen at 10th with times of 18:01.8 and 18:08.6 respectively.

Rounding up the scoring for the Braves were freshman Julia Nielsen and junior Emma Erhardt finishing at 13th and 14th with times 18:21.0 and 18:26.8. Both runners received honorable mentions to the All-MVC team.

The MVC Championship concludes the season for the men and women cross country teams.

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