Laura Rolf (Rochester, Mich./Lutheran Northwest) continued her stellar junior campaign Saturday morning, winning for the fourth time in as many races and breaking her own 5K school record at the Evansville Invitational in Evansville, Ind. Rolf helped lead Valparaiso to a tie for fourth place in the team standings.
The Crusaders tabulated 93 points for their fourth-place tie with Lipscomb. Murray State took the team title with 46 points.
Rolf completed the 5K course Saturday in 16:40.33, shaving 24 seconds off of her own school-record time in the event, set two weekends ago at the Notre Dame Invitational. She has now won five races and placed in the top-five 11 times in 17 career starts. The junior won Saturday’s race by nearly 50 seconds over Andrea Sonnenschein of Evansville, marking her second-largest margin of victory this season.
For the third time this season in four races, Rachael Button (Farmington, Mich./Farmington) joined Rolf among the top-10 finishers. The senior placed fourth, her second-best career finish, with a time of 18:15.94, just five seconds off of her career-best time in the event.
A trio of underclassmen closed out the scoring for the Crusaders Saturday. Freshman Caitlin Sauerhage (Rising Sun, Ind./Rising Sun) cut 45 seconds off of her season-best 5K time, coming home 22nd with a time of 19:16.51. Fellow freshman Aubrey Bosma (Hudsonville, Mich./Unity Christian) contributed in the first race of her career, crossing the line in 19:46.92, good for 34th place, while sophomore Rachel Howell (Dexter, Mich./Dexter) placed 49th with a career-best time of 20:09.47.
The race was the Crusaders’ final tune-up for the upcoming Horizon League Cross Country Championships, which Valparaiso will host at Sunset Hills Park on Saturday, Oct. 27. The women’s championship, which will cover five kilometers, is slated to start at 11 a.m.