PEORIA, Ill. -- Missouri Valley Conference rivals Southern Illinois and Illinois State won the men's and women's team titles, respectively, at the ninth annual Bradley Classic supported by the Farnsworth Group Friday afternoon at Newman Golf Course.
Preseason Missouri Valley Conference favorite Illinois State (102 points) claimed with women's title with three of the top-12 finishers in the women's 6K. Bradley was fourth in the 23-team women's field at 169 points with Saint Louis (114 points) and Southern Illinois (115 points) finishing ahead of the Braves in second and third, respectively.
Southern Illinois had three of the top eight finishers in the men's 8K, finishing with 54 points to edge second-place Illinois (58 points). The Bradley men were eighth in the 18-team field with 217 points, one point behind seven-place DePaul (216).
Jim Riddle of Illinois won the men's individual title, clocking the fourth fastest Bradley Classic time in race history at 24:11. In the women's 6K, UAB's Sarah Hudack edged Illinois State's Rachael Brewer by four seconds with a Bradley Classic record 20:40.
Strong performances highlighted the action for both the Bradley men's and women's cross country squads. Running a 6K for the first time this season, sophomore Sarah McMahon (Colfax, Wis./Colfax) paced the women's team with a career-best effort of 21:46 to finish 20th, improving on her career-best time by 12 seconds. McMahon's time ranks as the sixth-best 6K time in school history and second-best Bradley Classic time by a Brave.
Sophomore Chase Coffey (Hanna City, Ill./Farmington) paced the men's squad with a 25th-place finish, running the fastest time ever by a Brave in the Bradley Classic. Coffey's time of 25:05 was 16 seconds better than his previous career-best time and broke the BU record time in the Bradley Classic of 25:24 set by Andrew Wieser in 2010.
In addition to McMahon's career-best time on the women's side, freshman Caitlin Busch (Waterloo, Ill./Freeburg) clocked the eighth-best 6K time in school history. Busch crossed the line in a time of time of 21:54 to place 28th overall.
Junior Cassie Lohmeier (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria) was nine seconds off a career-best pace in 38th at 22:00 and the freshmen pair of Lauren Houmes (Hoopeston, Ill./Hoopeston) and Liz Smits (McFarland, Wis./McFarland) both crossed the line at 22:08 to finish 41st and 42nd, respectively, and complete the scoring for Bradley.
Sophomore Eric Delvo (Springfield, Ill./Sacred Heart Griffin) was also impressive for BU in the men's 8K, finishing 33rd with a career-best time of 25:18. Delvo's effort was nearly 30 seconds faster than his previous career-best time set two weeks ago. Not to be outdone, freshman Nick Kirk (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South) improved his best 8K time by 37 seconds, placing 53rd at 25:48.
Bradley will send a contingent to the Illinois Open next Friday in Champaign, Ill., before taking part in the Missouri Valley Conference Championships Oct. 27 in Normal, Ill.