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Valpo Women Compete Saturday at NCAA Great Lakes Regional
Claire Johnson paced Valpo in the final race of the year Saturday. (Ray Acevedo)
Claire Johnson paced Valpo in the final race of the year Saturday. (Ray Acevedo)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Valparaiso women's cross country team closed the 2011 campaign by beating out three fellow Horizon League squads en route to a 29th-place finish at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional meet Saturday morning in Toledo, Ohio.

Valpo totaled 855 points on the meet to place 29th, finishing ahead of Wright State, Cleveland State and Detroit and just four points behind Green Bay. Michigan earned the team title with 45 points and boasted the individual champion as well in the form of Danielle Tauro.

Sophomore Claire Johnson (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) paced the Crusader women on Saturday morning, covering the six-kilometer course in 22:51.5, good for 117th place. Freshman Jessica Richardson (Columbus, Ind./North) wasn't far behind Johnson, crossing the line in 124th place with a time of 22:56.4.

Sophomore Nicole Zehel (Wixom, Mich./Lutheran Westland) was the third Valpo runner across the line, placing 195th with a time of 24:40.5. Junior Haley Kerlin (Rensselaer, Ind./Rensselaer) covered the circuit in 25:09.9 to finish in 205th position, while sophomore Grace Watkins (Hanover Park, Ill./Hoffman Estates) rounded out the Crusaders' top-five runners with a time of 26:37.4, good for a 222nd place finish.