Laura Rolf (Rochester, Mich./Lutheran Northwest) earned a second consecutive trip to the NCAA Cross Country Championships with a sixth-place finish Saturday morning in Bloomington, Ind., as she paced the Valparaiso women’s squad at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional.
The Crusaders placed 25th as a team out of 30 competing institutions, recording 589 points. Michigan State earned the team title with 60 points, while Michigan’s Nicole Edwards took top individual honors.
Facing her stiffest competition of the season, Rolf received All-Region honors for the third time in her career with her sixth-place finish. The junior completed the 6K course in 20:56.62, less than five seconds out of the fourth position. While she could not extend her winning streak to six straight races, Rolf placed among the top-10 for the 13th time in 19 career starts.
Senior Rachael Button (Farmington Hills, Mich./Farmington) was the second-fastest Crusader in her final race. Button completed the course in 22:46.60, the second-best 6K time of her career. Her 70th place finish was a 55-spot improvement over her placing at last season’s regional meet.
The rest of the Crusaders’ lineup was rounded out by its youth. Freshman Caitlin Sauerhage (Rising Sun, Ind./Rising Sun [Indiana]) placed 144th with a time of 23:51.28. She was followed by sophomore Alyssa Bradford (Mukwonago, Wis./Mukwonago), who crossed the line in 25:01.12, good for 186th position. Sophomore Rachel Howell (Dexter, Mich./Dexter) rounded out the Crusader scorers with a 196th place finish in 25:27.47.
Rolf will run at the NCAA National meet for the second straight year. The 6K race will be held in Terre Haute, Ind. on Monday, Nov. 19 at 11 a.m. CST.