Five different Crusaders combined for seven top-ten finishes as the Valparaiso women's track and field team finished in a tie for 11th place Friday afternoon at the Chicagoland Championships in Chicago, Ill.
The Crusaders tallied 22 points on Friday to finish in a tie for 11th with St. Francis (Ill.) and Trinity Christian. North Central (Ill.) edged out Carthage and UIC for the team championship.
A pair of Valpo freshmen registered podium finishes on Friday to lead the Crusaders. Kelley Freeman (Valparaiso, Ind./Chesterton) matched her season-best mark in the pole vault, tied for third-best in Valpo history, by clearing 10'6” for a third-place finish. Sarah Drozdowski (Roselle, Ill./Lake Park) picked up a third-place finish as well in the shot put, registering a toss of 40'6 3/4”, just a quarter-inch out of the runner-up spot.
Drozdowski also tallied two other top-ten finishes on Friday. The freshman placed fifth in the hammer throw with a mark of 149'1”, while also finishing eighth in the discus throw after recording a toss of 120'0”. Fellow rookie Erica Funk (Blue Mound, Ill./Meridian) picked up her first career top-five finish in the discus throw as well, as her throw of 121'4” was good for fifth place.
Valpo also had a pair of runners post season-best times on the track Friday afternoon to account for two more top-ten placements. Freshman Claire Johnson (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) ran to an eighth-place finish in the 800m run, crossing the line in 2:25.96. Meanwhile, sophomore Haley Kerlin (Rensselaer, Ind./Rensselaer) covered the 5,000m distance in 18:53.65, good for tenth place.
The Crusader women return to action at the Dave Rankin Invitational in West Lafayette, Ind. next weekend. The two-day meet begins on Friday, April 15 at 2 p.m. CDT.