Bradley University sophomore runner Kristen Busch, a Freeburg High School graduate, was named the Missouri Valley Conference Female Cross Country Athlete of the Week after winning the individual title at the Illinois State Invitational last week.
Busch posted the fastest 5-kilometer time in the Missouri Valley Conference this season and the second fastest 5K time in school history, taking top individual honors with a time of 17 minutes, 21.05 seconds.
Her time is second in school history to Mary Ellen Hill's school record of 17:08 set in 1998. Busch helped pace a Bradley women's cross country team, which turned in five of the top-10 5K times in school history, to the team title with 21 points to finish ahead of pre-season MVC favorite Illinois State (47 points).
Kristen edged out her twin sister Caitlin Busch for the individual title at the Illinois State Invitational as the pair finished in the top three of an event for the second consecutive week.
Caitlin was second overall with a career-best time of 17:26.52. The Bradley women's cross country team, which moved up to seventh in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Midwest Region poll this week, had three of the top four individuals and nine of the top 13 finishers at the Illinois State Invitational.
After missing half of the 2012 cross country season, Kristen Busch returned late in the year to run in both the MVC Championship and NCAA Regional last fall. During the spring she clocked top five times in school history in both the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters in addition to earning Junior All-American honors after a third-place finish in the 3,000 at the 2013 United States Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
The Bradley women's cross country team will have the next two weekends off before sending individuals to the Notre Dame Invitational (Oct. 4) and the SIU Edwardsville Invitational (Oct. 5).