Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Experienced Crusader Men's Squad Ready to Start Running
Joel Hartenberger led the Valpo contingent in four races last year. (Ray Acevedo)
Joel Hartenberger led the Valpo contingent in four races last year. (Ray Acevedo)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

A boatload of experience returns for head coach Mike Straubel and the Valparaiso men’s cross country program in 2010, as the Crusaders graduated just one runner who ran among the team’s top-five at any point last season.  This seasoned group of veteran Crusaders is taking aim at a move up the Horizon League ladder this season.

A trio of seniors will guide the pack of Valpo runners this year, led by Joel Hartenberger.  The New Mexico native led the Crusaders in four of their six races last year and picked up a pair of top-ten finishes in the Crusader Open and the Commodore Classic.  Hartenberger also ran a career-best 8K time of 26:11 at the Notre Dame Invitational.  He is joined by fellow seniors Chris Bednarczyk and Keith Button, each of whom ran at five meets for Valpo as juniors.

Three of Valpo’s top-five runners from the 2009 campaign return among the four-member junior class.  Jordan Piaskowy finished among the Crusaders’ top-five in all six meets last season, pacing Valpo at the Horizon League Championships.  Nick Fagan contributed to the Crusader team score four times, including a second-place finish among Valpo runners at Notre Dame, where he ran a career-best 8K time of 27:28.

Blane Bowen also was among Valpo’s top-five on four occasions last season, running a career-best 8K time of 27:53 at the Bradley Classic, where he was the third Crusader across the line.  Mack Morris also returns for his junior season after competing just twice as a sophomore.

Five Crusaders with sophomore eligibility return for 2010, including a pair of juniors academically.  Redshirt sophomore Patrick Johnson finished just three races in his first season as a Crusader, but contributed to the team score twice and was the second-fastest Valpo runner at the Horizon League Championships.  Caleb Schmal ran five times in his first season of competition in 2009, posting a season-best 8K time of 28:05 at the Bradley Classic.

Of the true sophomores, Wally Bradford impressed the most in his rookie season, finishing among Valpo’s top-five in three of his six races and leading the Crusader pack at Bradley, where he crossed the line in 27:05.  Nathan Bluhm and Joe Johnson each ran four times for the Crusaders as freshmen as well.  Valpo also adds a trio of newcomers to round out the 2010 squad.

The Crusader Open will be contested for the 22nd time in 2010, and for the 17th straight year it will serve as Valpo’s season-opening meet.  Action at Sunset Hills Farm tomorrow begins at 5:45 p.m. with a 6K course.

Two weeks later, Valpo makes the short trip to West Lafayette to compete at the Indiana Intercollegiates, while on Oct. 1, a brief jaunt to the east is in the cards as the Crusaders will run at the Notre Dame Invitational.  Valpo’s final tuneup comes on Oct. 16 as it travels downstate to cover the course at the Evansville Invitational.

With four races under their belts, the Crusaders will aim to be peaking for the 2010 Horizon League Championships, hosted this year by Cleveland State University and scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 30.  The NCAA Great Lakes Regional is slated to be run Saturday, Nov. 13 in Bloomington, Ind., and if any Crusaders qualify for the NCAA Cross Country Championships, they would compete Monday, Nov. 22 in Terre Haute, Ind.

W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. #21/21 Notre Dame
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Green Bay
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Valpo