Valparaiso tied its best finish ever at the Mid-Continent Conference Championships on Saturday morning, finishing in third place at the league's annual event held in Rochester, Mich.
The Crusaders scored 78 points on the afternoon, just nine behind runner-up Western Illinois. Southern Utah won the team title with 58 points. Oral Roberts finished fourth, followed by UMKC, Oakland, IUPUI, Chicago State, and Centenary.
Valpo also finished in third place in 2003.
Danielle Nunnelly (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) led the way for the Brown and Gold with an eighth place finish. The sophomore crossed the finish line in 23:53.6. A trio of runners finished 15th, 16th, and 17th overall for the Cruasders. Rachael Button (Farmington Hills, Mich./Farmington H.S.) led the way with a time of 24:37.7, while Ashley Billstrom (Hales Corners, Wis./Whitnall H.S.) was 4.5 seconds behind. Jobeth Schmiesing (Mankato, Minn./Mankato West H.S.) was the fourth Crusader to finish with a time of 24:39.4. Rachel Nelson (Lee's Summit, Mo./Lee's Summit H.S.) rounded out the scoring for Valpo finishing 22nd overall with a time of 24:53.1 over the six-kilometer course.
Valparaiso will conclude the 2004 season on November 13 at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional held in Ypsilanti, Mich. The women's race begins at 12 p.m. CST.