Freshmen Sarah Drozdowski (Roselle, Ill./Lake Park) and Kelley Freeman (Valparaiso, Ind./Chesterton) combined to move onto Valpo’s all-time top-fives in three events Saturday in their first career outdoor meet, as the Valparaiso women’s track and field team competed at the Polar Bear Invitational in Marion, Ind., hosted by Indiana Wesleyan.
Drozdowski registered a trio of top-10 finishes Saturday, two of which were enough to move her onto the Crusader all-time charts. The rookie placed second in the shot put with a toss of 39’8 ½”, the third-best mark in the event in Valpo history. Drozdowski also posted a fourth-place finish in the hammer throw, tossing the implement 144’9”, good for fourth all-time at Valpo. She also placed tenth in the discus throw with a mark of 117’8”, while fellow freshman Erica Funk (Blue Mound, Ill./Meridian) finished ninth in the same event, registering a throw of 120’8”.
Meanwhile, Freeman, who claimed third on Valpo’s indoor chart in the pole vault during her first indoor season, moved into a tie for that same position on the Crusader outdoor chart in her first career effort outside at the collegiate level. Freeman cleared 10’6”, just 1 ½” shy of second all-time at Valpo and good for a runner-up placement on Saturday.
On the track, the Crusaders went 1-2 in the 3,000m steeplechase. Freshman Grace Shemwell (Clinton, Iowa/Clinton) led the way with a time of 12:16.54 for the event victory, while fellow freshman Grace Watkins (Hanover Park, Ill./Hoffman Estates) finished second with a time of 12:33.44. Sophomore Haley Kerlin (Rensselaer, Ind./Rensselaer) recorded a top-five finish in the 5,000m run, crossing the line fifth after completing the race in 19:14.96. Freshman Claire Johnson (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) posted a pair of eighth-place finishes on Saturday as well, covering the 800m run in 2:28.62 and the 1,500m run in 5:07.95.
Valparaiso returns to action next Saturday, April 2, at the DePauw Invitational in Greencastle, Ind. The meet is slated for a 10:30 a.m. CDT start.