The Valparaiso women’s cross country team, led by freshman Jessica Richardson (Columbus, Ind./North), ran to a 16th place finish in the Gold race at the Notre Dame Invitational in Notre Dame, Ind. on Friday afternoon.
The Crusaders tallied 447 points for their 16th place showing, outrunning three of the other four Horizon League squads in Friday’s competition. Grand Valley State earned the team title with 40 points, while Northwestern’s Audrey Huth earned top individual honors.
Richardson paced the Valpo contingent for the third time in as many races in 2011, crossing the line in 62nd place after covering the 5K in 19:01, the best effort of her career at the distance. Sophomore Claire Johnson (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) was not far behind Richardson Friday, also running a career-best 5K time as she finished in 19:13, good for 68th place.
Sophomore Nicole Zehel (Wixom, Mich./Lutheran Westland) was the third Valpo runner to complete the circuit, posting a time of 19:37 to finish in 91st place. Junior Haley Kerlin (Rensselaer, Ind./Rensselaer) completed Friday’s race in 20:25, good for 123rd place, while sophomore Grace Shemwell (Clinton, Iowa/Clinton) rounded out the Crusaders’ top-five finishers with a 139th place finish, crossing the line in 20:59.
Valparaiso returns to action in two weekends, making the trip downstate to run at the Evansville Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 15. Action on the 15th is slated for a 10 a.m. CDT start.