The 2009-2010 swim season opened on Friday night for the Valparaiso University women, and the Crusaders posted a fourth place finish at the Dennis Stark Relays hosted by Notre Dame.
Valpo finished with 90 points in the all relay event, 12 points ahead of fifth place and Horizon League foe Cleveland State. Michigan won the meet with 211 points followed by the host Fighting Irish with 186. Oakland was third with 141 points.
“Everyone went out fast and swam hard today,” head coach Howard Hunte said. “We didn’t worry about details today. It was just about getting back in the water and swimming.”
Valpo’s top finish of the day came in the 400 butterfly relay as the Crusaders placed third with the team of Justine Barnes (Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams H.S.), Sarah Robertson (Crawfordsville, Ind./Crawfordsville H.S.), Katie Rader (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg H.S.), and Amy Young (Blue Bell, Pa./LaPorte H.S. [Ind.]) finishing in a time of 3:53.59.
The 800 freestyle relay turned in a fourth place effort for the Brown and Gold as Rachel Majercik (Schaumburg, Ill./Conant H.S.), Kristy Shew (Terre Haute, Ind./North Vigo H.S.), Laura Rickey (Monmouth, Ill./Monmouth-Roseville H.S.), and Stephanie Ferschl (Mukwonago, Wis./Mukwonago H.S.) touched the wall in 8:11.75.
Another fourth place finish in the 400 backstroke saw Karen Berg (Glendale, Ariz./Deer Valley H.S.), Jenny Nam (Orange, Calif./Lutheran H.S. of Orange County), Erin Owen (Mazeppa, Minn./Zumbrota-Mazeppa H.S.), and Shew post a mark of 4:25.29 in the event.
In the 400 breaststroke relay, Amy Andracki (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect H.S.), Young, Robertson, and Owen also finished fourth with a time of 5:02.90.
Valparaiso will return to the pool on Saturday as the Crusaders head to West Lafayette, Ind. for the Indiana Intercollegiates. The first event begins at 11 a.m. CDT.