The Valparaiso women's track and field team returned to action for the first time following the holiday break on Friday afternoon, competing at the Bob Eubanks Open in Allendale, Mich., hosted by Grand Valley State.
In the infield Friday, freshman Kelley Freeman (Valparaiso, Ind./Chesterton) cleared a height of 10'6”, matching the fourth-best effort in the pole vault in program history. Freeman's mark was good for a tie for 16th place. In the throws, freshman Sarah Drozdowski (Roselle, Ill./Lake Park) posted a pair of top-15 finishes, placing 12th in the weight throw (49'0 3/4”) and 15th in the shot put (36'2”).
On the track, senior Jorie Ballun (Oswego, Ill./Oswego) registered Valpo's lone top-10 finish on the day, coming home sixth in the 600m dash with a time of 1:44.61. The Crusader contingent of distance runners made their first appearances of the indoor campaign Friday as well, led by a tenth-place finish by freshman Grace Watkins (Hanover Park, Ill./Hoffman Estates) in the 5,000m run, crossing the line in 20:01.60.
Freshman Claire Johnson (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) covered the one mile run in 5:19.84, good for an 11th place finish, while fellow freshman Nicole Zehel (Wixom, Mich./Lutheran Westland) finished right behind Johnson with a time of 5:20.91. Fifth-year senior Whitney Bowman (Portage, Ind./Portage [Purdue]) crossed the line in the 3,000m run in 11:00.29, good for 15th place.
Valparaiso returns to the track next Saturday, Jan. 22 in Ann Arbor, Mich. at the Simmons-Harvey Invitational. The meet is slated for an 11 a.m. CST start.