Laura Rolf (Rochester, Mich./Lutheran Northwest) dominated the Gold Race at the Notre Dame Invitational in Notre Dame, Ind. Friday afternoon, covering the five-kilometer course in 17:04, setting a new school record for the distance and winning the race by 46 seconds.
Valparaiso finished 19th out of the 27 teams competing in the race, accumulating 468 points. Grand Valley State earned top team honors with 126 points. The Crusaders did defeat both other Horizon League schools competing in the Gold Race in Youngstown State and Green Bay.
For Rolf, it is her third victory in as many races this season. The junior has won two of her three races this year by large margins, with her two-second victory at Boston College being her closest race of the season. She has placed in the top-five in 10 of her 16 career starts, and now owns Valpo’s school record in both the 5K and the 6K.
Rachael Button (Farmington, Mich./Farmington) posted her second top-ten finish of the season and moved into fourth position on Valpo’s all-time chart in the 5K with a tenth-place finish on Friday afternoon. Button covered the course in 18:10, just nine seconds out of the top five positions.
Freshman Caitlin Sauerhage (Rising Sun, Ind./Rising Sun) was the next-best Valpo finisher, crossing the line in 20:01, good for 139th place. She was followed by Alyssa Bradford (Mukwonago, Wis./Mukwonago), who placed 169th with a time of 20:28. Rachel Howell (Dexter, Mich./Dexter) rounded out the Crusader scorers with a 186th place finish, crossing the line in 20:54.
Valparaiso returns to action in two weeks, splitting the squad on Saturday, October 13. Some runners will compete at the 5K Evansville Invitational, while others will race at the 6K NCAA Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute, Ind.