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Spirit

Runners Sweep MVC for New Coach

The Bradley men’s and women’s cross country teams treated Coach Darren Gauson (left) to a string of successes at the Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Championships on Halloween.

Caitlin Busch ’16 (left, bottom) broke her own school record to win a second consecutive individual title and help the women repeat as team champs. With Busch’s sister, Kristen ’16, finishing third, Bradley had two of the top three placers and five in the top 19 overall. Bradley is the first team in MVC history to win the team title and have the individual winner in consecutive seasons. 

Her individual title also gave Caitlin Busch back-to-back honors as MVC Athlete of the Year for cross country. She joins Bradley Hall of Famer Mary Ellen Hill Schupbach ’00 as one of only six runners to win consecutive MVC individual championships in conference history. Kristen Busch again won MVC All-Conference first team honors and Rosie Hiles M.A. ’16, who finished 14th, was an honorable mention. 

In the men’s race, Michael Ward ’18 broke his school record, and his fourth-place finish paced three Bradley athletes in the top eight for the school’s first men’s MVC cross country title. Taylor Floyd Mews ’18 finished sixth and Patrick Campbell ’17 eighth, marking the first time Bradley’s men had three individuals win MVC All-Conference honors. Ward also earned the conference’s Elite 18 Award for the student-athlete with the best finish and highest cumulative grade point average at the finals with a 3.86 GPA as a biochemistry major.

“They ran tough and were able to bring home the championship,” Gauson, who was named MVC Coach of the Year for both men’s and women’s cross country, said of the men’s team. He took over as Bradley’s coach in August, after winning Southland Conference Coach of the Year honors the two previous years for track and cross country at Lamar University, where his teams also won conference titles. 

A 2006 graduate of Napier University in Scotland, Gauson earned a master’s degree at Butler University, where he competed for two years and was an assistant coach for four years after completing his degree. He was Horizon League champion in the 1,500 meters during his time at Butler, and the Scottish national champion in the event in 2004 and 2005. 

— B.G.

 


 

Parker Named to MVC Hall of Fame

Anthony Parker ’97 became the eighth Bradley men’s basketball player and the 10th overall University inductee to the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame. He will be inducted during the MVC Men’s Basketball Tournament in March 2016. 

The 1996 MVC Player of the Year, Parker led the Braves to a regular-season MVC championship that year and an at-large selection for the NCAA Tournament, where Bradley lost to Stanford in the opening round. He was a first-team all-conference choice in 1996 and 1997, and a first-round draft choice of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets, but began his pro career with Philadelphia after a trade. 

He played three years in the NBA before becoming a three-time Israeli League Player of the Year and two-time Most Valuable Player in the Euroleague Finals. Named one of the top 50 players in the history of European club basketball, Parker returned to the NBA in 2006 and played the next six years with Toronto and Cleveland.

Parker lives in Florida, where he works as a scout for the NBA’s Orlando Magic. 

— B.G.
— Photo credits: Gauson, Busch: Duane Zehr; Parker: NBA.


Academic Success Honored

Track

The Bradley men’s and women’s track teams were each named All-Academic Teams for the 2014–15 school year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The squads had the top team grade point averages in the Missouri Valley Conference. The women’s team, ranked fifth nationally in GPA, earned USTFCCCA recognition for the 14th consecutive year. The men’s squad tied for 10th in the country for GPA and won national honors for the fourth straight time.

Women’s team members Emily Delvo ’16, Kyela Specht ’15, Caitlin Busch ’16 and Kristen Busch ’16, along with Michael Ward ’18 from the men’s squad, received All-Academic individual honors. 

Men’s Golf

The Bradley team was one of 90 NCAA Division I squads to earn 2014–15 All-Academic Honors from the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). The squad had the best grade point average in the Missouri Valley Conference and was one of 10 nationally receiving special recognition for a team GPA over 3.5.

Volleyball

In 2014–15, Bradley’s volleyball team earned an American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award for the 10th time in 11 years.

— B.G.