November 19, 2018
Trailblazer runners earn top 5 finish at nationals
ORANGE BEACH, Ala -- The Vincennes University Men’s Half Marathon team ran to a fifth-place finish in the NJCAA Half Marathon National Championships over the weekend the Orange Beach Sportsplex.
Led by a 18th place finish from Milan Todorovic, the Trailblazers tallied 64 team points in the field off 11 complete teams.
El Paso, who had the top two individual spots, edged Iowa Central 9-15 for the team title, while
South Plains (28), Ranger College (34) and VU rounded out the top five.
Todorovic covered the 13.1 course in a time of 1 hour, 16 minutes and three seconds.
“Milan wanted to go out and run a very conservative race,” Trailblazers coach Randy Heisler said. “He looked amazing after 10 miles and really started to pass people and just took off over those final three miles.”
Seth Vaquero placed four spots behind Todorovic with a time of 1:16:50, while Morne Schanick (1:19:40) rounded out the Trailblazers scoring with a 32nd place finish in the field of 55 runners.
“Morne was right there with the leaders at the 5K mark,” Heisler stated. “He wanted to go out and try to stay up there for as long as he could.
“Seth looked pretty strong at the 10-mile mark but then kind of hit a wall over the final three miles.”
Vaquero finished five spots better than last year and knocked 27 seconds off of his time.
Last season the Trailblazers finished seventh in the team standings.
“I am very pleased with how our guys ran,” Heisler said. “We are not really distance runners, we are a bunch of 800 and 1,600 meter runners. So for them to go out there and do this well over 13 miles, I am happy for them all. They have worked hard.”
The women’s team had a pair of runners compete, but were one participant shy of having a qualifying team.
Sophomore Liz Bredeweg came away with a 17th place finish with a time of 1:33:47, while Kaylee Lange finished 39th with a time of 1:51:38.
“Liz emerged out of the woods at the 5K mark leading the pack,” Heisler said. “Not only was she leading but she had probably a 30-second lead. In fact her time at the 5K mark was faster than her what she finished her 5K in the cross country nationals.”
Heisler explained by the 8-mile mark, the pack had caught up with Bredeweg but she still finished strong.
“She ran well and I am proud of her,” Heisler said.
Last season Bredeweg finished 25th. She shaved nearly two minutes off her time from last season.
Lange, who sat out cross country season, ran for the experience.
“It was her first collegiate experience,” Heisler said. “But she ran the whole thing and finished strong.”
All five athletes will now turn their attention to track and field season.
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