Mroczynski and Husted Finish Among Top-20 at Notre Dame Invite
Oct. 3, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Keyed by the efforts of sophomores Matt Mroczynski in the men's Blue Division five mile race and Jess Husted in the women's Gold Division 5K, the Illinois State men's and women's cross country teams took 18th and fifth place, respectively at the 53rd running of the Notre Dame Invitational, hosted by Notre Dame and held at the ninth hold of the Notre Dame Golf Course Friday evening.
Edging out Missouri Valley Conference foe Indiana State by only two points, 453-455, the Redbird men placed 18th in a heated field of 25 nationally and regionally ranked opponents.
"You can't get much closer than a two-point difference," said Illinois Stat head cross country coach Jeff Bovee. "There is high competition in the Valley. We can certainly say that both teams are very good and that the conference championships are going to come down to whoever can get five guys across the finish line first."
Mroczynski was the first Illinois State finisher in the top-tier men's Blue Division race, crossing the finish line in 20th with a personal-best time of 24:08.
"Matt ran a break out race," said Bovee. "He has become one of the top-runners in our region (Midwest). He was able to get into a good rhythm and stay in the top-20 the entire race. He is a rhythm runner and in today's fast race he was able to run with some of the top guys in the country."
Junior Scott Krapf (65th) and senior Mike Richardson (81st) were just under the 25-minute mark crossing the finish line in 24:44 and 24:55, respectively. Rounding out the top-five finishers and point scorers for Illinois State were freshman Rich Eber (25:40) and sophomore Jon Roberts (25:44) taking the No. 147 and 151 positions.
On the women's side Husted ran in the lead the entire race for the Redbird women to finish 18th with a time of 18:09. The women who took fifth out of a field of 23 competitors scored 165 points.
Sophomore Michelle Brunk started the race at the back of the Redbird pack but was able to edge her way past her teammates and competitors between the second and third mile to be the second Redbird to cross the finish line with a 31st-place finish at the 18:23 mark.
"I was pleased with how the women ran," said Bovee. "Jess Husted had an outstanding day. She made a huge improvement from how she ran here a year ago. Also, Michelle Brunk had her best cross country race as a Redbird. She exploded in the last mile running her final mile just as fast as her first, she looked outstanding."
The Redbirds will have two weeks off before sending squads to the Bradley Open, Oct. 17 and NCAA Pre-Nationals held in Terre Haute, Ind., Oct. 18.