Freshman Laura Rolf (Rochester, Mich./Lutheran Northwest) ran a school-record 22:08.5 to finish in fourth place at the 6K Mid-Continent Conference Championships, leading Valpo to a third-place finish Saturday at Sunset Hills Farm.
Rolf's time was nearly 10 seconds better than the previous school-best and earned her Mid-Con Newcomer of the Year honors as the top freshman finisher. She also earned First Team All-Conference honors, the first Crusader to be so honored since 2000.
Danielle Nunnelly (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso), the 2003 Mid-Con Newcomer of the Year, earned Second Team All-Conference honors, finishing in ninth place with a time of 22:46.0. The junior placed herself on the Second Team for the third consecutive year.
Sophomore Rachel Button (Farmington Hills, Mich./Farmington) was the next Valpo finisher, coming in 17th and covering the 6K course in 23:11.2. The Crusaders lone senior, Jobeth Schmiesing (Mankato, Minn./West) then crossed the line, finishing 20th in 28:16.8. Ashley Billstrom (Hales Corner, Wis./Whitmall) was the fifth Valpo finisher, placing 24th in 23:47, ahead of Lisa Schroeck (Naperville, Ill./Benet Academy) and Lauren McLaughlin (Shoreview, Minn./Mounds View). Tami McDunn (Farmington, Minn./Farmington) and Carrie Waterman (Wheaton, Ill./North) rounded out the Valpo effort.
The third place finish tied for the highest ever by a Crusader cross country team, equaling their finish each of the last two years. Faithy Kamangila of Oral Roberts won the race for the second straight year, finishing in 21:19.2 and leading the Golden Eagles to their first championship in school history. Kamangila earned Female Athlete of the Year honors and ORU coach Joe Dial was named Coach of the Year.
The Crusader season continues November 12 at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships.
Today's meet can be heard in its entirety tonight on 95.1 FM, WVUR, and online at www.valpo.edu/wvur immediately following the Crusader volleyball match at Chicago State, scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m.