Freshman Laura Rolf (Rochester, Mich./Lutheran Northwest) broke her own school record with a 6K time of 22:04.3, leading Valpo to a 19th place finish in the 32-team NCAA Great Lakes Region Cross Country Championship Saturday in Bloomington, Ind.
Rolf's time eclipsed the 22:08 she ran in her last meet, the Mid-Continent Conference Championships, where she finished fourth and was named Mid-Con Newcomer of the Year. Rolf placed 25th in Saturday's race, the fourth highest finish for a freshman. The event featured 220 runners from the top programs in the Great Lakes Region.
By virtue of Rolf's 25th place finish, the freshman was named to the All-Great Lakes Region team. Rolf is only the second VU runner to be so-honored, matching Collette Liss, who earned All-Region honors in 1998 and 1999.
Junior Danielle Nunnelly (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso), the 2003 Mid-Con Newcomer of the Year, was the next Crusader to cross the line, finishing 97th in a time of 23:27.1. Rachel Button (Farmington Hills, Mich./Farmington) was next in a time of 23:39.0, followed closely by Ashley Billstrom's (Hales Corner, Wis./Whitnall) time of 23:42.3. Senior Jobeth Schmiesing (Mankato, Minn./West) was the fifth fastest Valpo runner, finishing her final collegiate race in a time of 24:27.8.
Butler's Victoria Mitchell won the event in a time of 20:37.0, and Michigan won the team title with 52 points.
The race concludes the Crusaders' 2005 season. They will return to action in the fall of 2006.