Pair of Crusader Freshmen Crack Top-Fives at GVSU Saturday
Nicole Zehel placed ninth in the mile run Saturday. (Ray Acevedo)
Nicole Zehel placed ninth in the mile run Saturday. (Ray Acevedo)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Freshmen Sarah Drozdowski (Roselle, Ill./Lake Park) and Kelley Freeman (Valparaiso, Ind./Chesterton) each posted performances among Valpo’s all-time best on Saturday as the Valparaiso women’s track and field team competed at the GVSU Big Meet in Allendale, Mich.

Drozdowski placed 22nd in a tough field in the weight throw Saturday, registering a toss of 50’9 ¼”.  The throw improved on her PR in the event by six inches and keeps her in second place in Crusader history in the event.  Drozdowski also recorded a mark of 37’0 ¼” in the shot put Saturday.

Meanwhile, Freeman continued her climb up the ladder in the pole vault, clearing 10’9” to finish in a tie for ninth place in the event.  The mark vaults Freeman up to third place all-time at Valpo in the record books, less than three inches shy of the top spot.

On the track, freshman Nicole Zehel (Wixom, Mich./Lutheran Westland) posted Valpo’s best finish, crossing the finish line ninth in the mile run with a time of 5:14.08.  Fellow rookie Claire Johnson (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) narrowly missed a top-ten finish as well, placing 11th after crossing the line in 5:14.42.  Both freshmen registered new PRs on the collegiate level in the event.

A pair of Crusaders also set new PRs in the 3,000m run Saturday.  Fifth-year senior Whitney Bowman (Portage, Ind./Portage [Purdue]) came home 12th in the 3,000m run with a time of 10:39.54, just over a second outside of the top-ten.  Sophomore Haley Kerlin (Rensselaer, Ind./Rensselaer) recorded a time of 11:02.34 in the event as well.

Valparaiso returns to action next Saturday at the Boilermaker Invitational in West Lafayette, Ind.  The meet is slated for a 10 a.m. CST start.