The Valparaiso women's track and field team finished in third place on Saturday afternoon at the Tiger Invitational held in Greencastle, Ind.
The Crusaders tallied 113 points in the field of 16 schools, just 13 points behind runner-up Indianapolis. Lindenwood won the meet with 147 points.
Valpo's distance squad did the most damage at the meet. Five Crusaders finished in the top-seven in the mile, led by Rachel Nelson (Lee's Summit, Mo./Lee's Summit H.S.). Nelson finished in second place with a time of 5:12.60. Danielle Nunnelly (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) finished third with a mark of 5:13.98, while Amy Mikel (Lemont, Ill./Fenwick H.S.) was fourth (5:14.00) and Jobeth Schmiesing (North Mankato, Minn./Mankato West H.S.) finished fifth (5:14.57). Elizabeth Whiting (Parma, Mich./Western H.S.) was seventh with a time of 5:20.15.
The Crusaders also place three runners in the top-five in both the 800m and the 3000m runs. In the 800m, Nelson posted another runner-up finish with a time of 2:21.65, while Nunnelly was just 1.71 seconds back in third place. Kristy Popp (Bowman, N.D./Bowman H.S.) was fifth with a time of 2:24.62.
In the 3000m, Whiting was second with a time of 10:41.23, while Heidi Nathan (Medford, N.Y./Patchogue-Medford H.S.) finished fourth (10:56.62). Ashley Billstrom (Hales Corners, Wis./Whitnall H.S.) was fifth crossing the line in 10:57.88.
In the 600m run, Amanda Meyer (Somerset, Wis./Somerset H.S.) broke her own school record on the way to a third place finish. Her time of 1:39.54 bettered her 2003 mark by 1.06 seconds. Laura Arloszynski (Greenfield, Wis./Greenfield H.S.) earned a sixth-place finish in the 55m dash with a time of 7.59 seconds to round out the scorers in the running events for Valpo.
On the infield, Meyer posted a fifth place finish in the pole vault, leaping 10'0". Martha Josephson (Detroit Lakes, Minn./Detroit Lakes H.S.) and Annie Elzey (Cornell, Ill./Flanagan H.S.) finished seventh and eighth respectively in the triple jump. Josephson turned in a leap of 32'8 ¼", while Elzey was 3 ½" shy of that mark.
Holly Hagen (Hobart, Ind./Hobart H.S.) turned in a pair of top-five finishes on the afternoon. The junior finished fourth in the shot put with a toss of 39'1 ¾", while placing fifth in the weight throw (43'11 ¼"). Rachel Liptak (Temecula, Calif./Temecula Valley H.S.) also scored in the weight, tossing it 42'5 ¼" to finish sixth.
Valpo will return to action next Saturday, as the Crusaders split the squad. Some athletes will head to Ames, Iowa for the Iowa State Classic, while the rest will head to Kenosha, Wis. for the Pepsi Challenge.