Paced by a 23rd-place finish by freshman Claire Johnson (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie), the Valparaiso women’s cross country team finished in ninth place Saturday at the 2010 Horizon League Championships in Chicago, Ill.
Valpo totaled 198 points for its ninth-place finish, beating out Green Bay and finishing just 15 points back of seventh place. Butler earned the team championship with 18 points, led by individual champion Kirsty Legg, who crossed the finish line in 17:17.12.
Johnson ran a season-best time of 19:13.97 over the 5K course for her 23rd-place finish, finishing less than 20 seconds outside of the top-15. Fifth-year senior Kelsey Stueland (Tipton, Iowa/Tipton Community [Iowa]) lowered her 5K time for the fourth straight race, running her fastest time as a Crusader as she crossed the line in 19:43.84, good for a 37th-place showing.
Freshman Nicole Zehel (Wixom, Mich./Lutheran Westland) was the third Crusader to complete the loop, finishing in 44th place with a time of 19:59.32. Fifth-year senior Whitney Bowman (Portage, Ind./Portage [Purdue]) covered the course in 20:17.06 Saturday, good for 53rd place, while sophomore Haley Kerlin (Rensselaer, Ind./Rensselaer) rounded out the Valpo scorers with a 57th place finish, crossing the line in 20:26.74.
Valparaiso closes out the 2010 campaign in two weeks at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional in Rochester, Mich. Action on Saturday, November 13 is slated for a 9 a.m. CT start.