Valparaiso picked up three points in the 10,000m on the opening day of the Mid-Continent Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships held in Macomb, Ill.
Western Illinois has taken the early lead through two events with 24 points, while Southern Utah is second with 23 points. UMKC has tallied 18 points, followed by Chicago State with ten and the Crusaders with three. Oral Roberts has yet to score.
Elizabeth Whiting (Parma, Mich./Western H.S.) led Valpo in the 10,000m with her seventh place finish in a time of 39:12.36. Teammate Heidi Nathan (Medford, N.Y./Patchogue-Medford H.S.) was one place in back of Whiting, picking up the team's other point with her time of 39:57.74.
The lone field event to hold its final on day one was the hammer throw. Holly Hagen (Hobart, Ind./Hobart H.S.), who has been nursing an injury turned in the Brown and Gold's top performance in the event with her 11th place finish with a toss of 134'8". Redshirt-freshman Rachel Liptak (Temecula, Calif./Temecula Valley H.S.) also turned in her season's best performance in the event with a throw of 118'5".
Thursday also saw the opening day of the heptathlon contested. Jessica Cherrington (Roseberg, Ore./Umpqua Valley Christian H.S.), the Crusaders lone entrant in the field of seven, stands in fifth place heading into the final day with 2,011 points. The sophomore opened the heptathlon with a time of 19.31 seconds in the 100m hurdles. Cherrington then finished sixth in the high jump, clearing 4'4 ¼". The third event, the shot put, saw her place third with a mark of 32'3 ¾", while she wrapped up the day with a fourth place effort in the 200m dash with a time of 27.27 seconds, a season's best.
The championships will continue on Friday, beginning with the heptathlon and field events in the morning and preliminary heats in running events in the afternoon.