Valparaiso's women's cross country team ran its way to a fifth place finish on Friday afternoon at the Indiana Intercollegiate Championships Division I race held West Lafayette, Ind.
Indiana won the team title with 45 points, edging Purdue by one. Ball State was third with 49 points, followed by Indiana State with 113 and the Crusaders with 136.
Rachael Button (Farmington Hills, Mich./Farmington H.S.) led the way for the Brown and Gold with a time of 19:11 over the five-kilometer course. The freshman finished 17th overall. A trio of runners then finished within five seconds of one another for Valpo. Rachel Nelson (Lee's Summit, Mo./Lee's Summit H.S.) was 26th with a time of 19:39, while Heidi Nathan (Medford, N.Y./Patchogue-Medford H.S.) was one spot back with a time of 19:43. Jobeth Schmiesing (Mankato, Minn./Mankato West H.S.) was one second and three spots back of Nathan. Ashley Billstrom (Hales Corners, Wis./Whitnall H.S.) rounded out the scoring for the Brown and Gold with a 36th place finish with a time of 19:53.
Valparaiso will return to action on October 1 as the Crusaders head to the Notre Dame Invitational. The women's race begins at 4:15 p.m.