Ashley Billstrom (Hales Corners, Wis./Whitnall) took home the gold medal in the 3,000m steeplechase for the second consecutive year, while Amanda Body (Harlan, Ky./Harlan) set two new school records in the sprints Friday as Valpo competed on the second day of the three-day 2007 Mid-Continent Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Kansas City, Mo.
The Crusaders sit in fourth place after two of the three days of competition, having totaled 40 points to date, just 10 points out of third place and 18 behind second place. Southern Utah currently leads the team race with 104 points.
Billstrom ran away with the title in the steeplechase for the second straight year, defeating her closest rival by better than 22 seconds to reach the top of the podium. The senior had already qualified for the NCAA Mideast Regional meet in the event and currently is ranked fifth in the region. Danielle Nunnelly (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) joined Billstrom on the podium, coming home third with a time of 11:34.05, the fifth-best time in Crusader history.
Body lowered the school records in both the 100m dash and 200m dash by over a tenth of a second and qualified for both event finals. The sophomore ran a time of 12.36 in the prelims of the 100m dash, three-tenths of a second faster than her previous best and the fourth-fastest qualifying time. She followed with a time of 25.10 in the prelims of the 200m dash, lowering her own school record and posting the sixth-fastest prelim time. Body also placed fifth in the long jump with a leap of 17'5 ½". Carissa Heinold (Charleston, Ill./Charleston) posted an eighth-place finish in the same event with a mark of 16'0 ¼".
Emilie Marsicek (Spalding, Mich./Carney-Nadeau) moved into second in Crusader history in the discus throw, unleashing a toss of 134'5", good for fifth place in the event. Lindsey Gilman (South Bend, Ind./Marian) placed sixth in the heptathlon with 3,599 points, while Alicia Zinnecker (Cincinnati, Ohio/Indian Hill) finished tenth.
Lakisha Lane (Topeka, Kan./Highland Park) qualified for event finals in both the 100m hurdles and the 400m hurdles, posting the third-best preliminary time in each event. Lane completed the 100m hurdles in 15.04 and the 400m hurdles in 1:07.10, the fourth-best time in school history in the event. Melanie Wilson (Saint Louis, Mo./Rosati-Kain) will join Lane in the finals of the 100m hurdles after running a qualifying time of 15.29.
Valparaiso, whose best finish in Mid-Con championship history is fourth place, will look to match or better that on Saturday on the final day of the championship meet. The first event is slated to start at 10 a.m.