Fifth-year senior Whitney Bowman (Portage, Ind./Portage [Purdue]) posted a second-place finish in the 5,000m run Friday while the Crusader distance medley relay squad took top honors as Valparaiso finished seventh at the Tadd Metzger Invitational in Kenosha, Wis.
The Crusaders totaled 36 points Friday evening for their seventh-place finish out of 15 competing squads. Carthage took top team honors, finishing the meet with 118.5 points.
Bowman covered the 5K distance Friday in 18:53.39 for her runner-up placement, while sophomore Haley Kerlin (Rensselaer, Ind./Rensselaer) finished fourth in the same race, crossing the line in 19:44.49. The distance medley relay team completed its winning journey in 12:54.53, and elsewhere in the distance races, freshman Grace Watkins (Hanover Park, Ill./Hoffman Estates) ran to a sixth-place finish in the 3,000m run with a time of 11:20.27.
In the 800m run, Valpo again had a pair of top-ten finishes, led by a PR of 2:24.61 from freshman Claire Johnson (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) to finish in sixth place. Fellow rookie Nicole Zehel (Wixom, Mich./Lutheran Westland) crossed the line in 2:30.04 to finish tenth. Then, in the 400m dash, senior Jorie Ballun (Oswego, Ill./Oswego) placed eighth in a 31-runner field with a time of 1:04.07.
On the infield, the Crusaders were paced by a pair of freshmen. Kelley Freeman (Valparaiso, Ind./Chesterton) matched her PR in the pole vault and also matched the fourth-best height in Crusader history with a vault of 10’6”, good for fifth place. Thrower Sarah Drozdowski (Roselle, Ill./Lake Park) also improved a pair of her PRs, registering marks of 50’3 ¼” in the weight throw and 39’1” in the shot put for eighth and seventh-place showings, respectively. Drozdowski’s mark in the weight throw improved on her second-best distance in Crusader history, while her shot put effort lengthened the fifth-best mark all-time at Valpo.
Valparaiso returns to action next Saturday, Feb. 5 as the Crusaders make the short trip east to the Meyo Invitational in Notre Dame, Ind.