Valparaiso edged UMKC by one point Saturday for third place at the 2007 Mid-Continent Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Kansas City, Mo. The third-place finish is the best ever by a Crusader women's squad at the outdoor championship meet. Leading the way Saturday was freshman Lakisha Lane (Topeka, Kan./Highland Park), who earned Mid-Con Newcomer of the Year honors after winning the 400m hurdles.
Valpo totaled 102 points over the meet's three days for the third-place finish. Southern Utah took the team title with 251 points, with Oral Roberts finishing in second with 240 points. UMKC finished with 101 points, while Western Illinois (88) and Oakland (27) rounded out the standings.
Lane took top honors in the 400m hurdles by the slimmest of margins, edging out UMKC's Stefanie Lasley by just two one-hundredths of a second to earn the gold medal. The freshman's time of 1:03.70 was the second-fastest ever by a Valpo athlete in the event. Lane also placed sixth in the 100m hurdles with a time of 15.69, while Melanie Wilson (Saint Louis, Mo./Rosati-Kain) finished right behind her in seventh place in 15.78.
Emilie Marsicek (Spalding, Mich./Carney-Nadeau) extended her school-record distance in the shot put for the third time this season, registering a toss of 44'11 ½" Saturday to earn runner-up honors in the event. Marsicek also placed sixth in the javelin throw with a mark of 118'3", while Lindsey Gilman (South Bend, Ind./Marian) finished fourth with a distance of 119'5", the fourth-best effort in the event all-time at Valpo.
Amanda Body (Harlan, Ky./Harlan) showcased her versatility Saturday, earning three top-six finishes. Body came in sixth place in both the 100m and 200m dashes, posting times of 12.47 and 25.28, respectively. She then posted a podium finish in the triple jump, placing third with a leap of 36'6 ¾". Wilson finished seventh in the same event with a distance of 34'5 ¾".
Ashley Billstrom (Hales Corners, Wis./Whitnall) set two new personal-best times Saturday, finishing the 5,000m run in 18:08.56, good for fifth place, and crossing the line in the 1,500m run in 4:45.65, coming home sixth. The senior paced the Crusaders in both events. Senior Danielle Nunnelly (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) closed out her illustrious Crusader career with an eighth-place effort in the 800m run with a time of 2:17.92.
By virtue of her event victory at the conference meet, Lane will compete in the 400m hurdles at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships May 25-26. Joining her will be Billstrom, who qualified for the regional meet earlier this season with her school-record time of 10:40.38 in the 3,000m steeplechase at the Hillsdale Gina Relays on April 27, the fifth-fastest time in the region this season.