The Valparaiso women’s cross country squad opened the 2008 campaign at its home course of Sunset Hills Farm on Friday afternoon, placing fourth in the 20th annual Crusader Invitational.
The Crusaders totaled 107 points for their fourth-place finish. Notre Dame runners took five of the top seven spots as the Fighting Irish claimed the team crown with 19 points.
Laura Rolf (Rochester, Mich./Lutheran Northwest) led the Crusader contingent of runners, covering the 5K course in 19:14 for a 13th-place finish. Lindsey Gilman (South Bend, Ind./Marian), running her first race in a Crusader cross country uniform after previous stints on the track and field and volleyball squads, crossed the line next for Valpo, coming home in 19:36 for 21st place.
Sara Christensen (Bettendorf, Iowa/Pleasant Valley) placed 28th, covering the 5K course in 19:56. Caitlin Sauerhage (Rising Sun, Ind./Rising Sun [Indiana]) was next for Valpo, coming home 30th in a time of 20:04, while freshman Kristine Clay (Gobles, Mich./Kalamazoo Christian) rounded out the Crusader scorers with a 32nd-place showing in a time of 20:08.
Valparaiso returns to action in two weeks, heading to Indiana University to take part in the Indiana Intercollegiates. The 5K race on Friday, Sept. 19 is slated to go off at 3 p.m. CDT.