“The women ran pretty well, I thought they raced aggressively and did a good job,” said Crusader head coach Mike Straubel. “Laura had a great race, finally coming out and crushing everybody. I could see the progress throughout the year with hard workouts and just getting back into going fast. It was a slow rebuilding process and it took a while. That doesn't happen overnight and we try to peak for the end of the season, the last two or three races."
Loyola took the team title with 35 points, edging out Milwaukee by eight points. The Crusaders tallied 132 points for their fourth-place finish.
Rolf, who won the league title by just six seconds last year, had an easier go of it this time around, completing the 6K course in 17:33.73, nearly 30 seconds ahead of her closest competitor. For Rolf, it marked the seventh individual race victory of her career and her 14th career top-five finish.
Sara Christensen (Bettendorf, Iowa/Pleasant Valley) was the next Crusader runner to cross the line, finishing the race in 19:30.47 for a 24th-place finish. Caitlin Sauerhage (Rising Sun, Ind./Rising Sun [Indiana]) ran to a 32nd-place finish with a time of 19:56.39, while Lindsey Gilman (South Bend, Ind./Marian) finished 36th in 20:07.05. Kristine Clay (Gobles, Mich./Kalamazoo Christian) rounded out the Crusader scorers with a time of 20:20.35, good for a 45th-place showing.
Valparaiso returns to the course in two weeks, traveling to West Lafayette to run in the NCAA Great Lakes Regional. The women’s race is scheduled for an 10 a.m. CST start.