The Valparaiso women's track and field team continued the 2011 outdoor season Saturday afternoon with a stop in West Lafayette, Ind. to compete at the Dave Rankin Invitational, hosted by Purdue.
Freshman Kelley Freeman (Valparaiso, Ind./Chesterton) moved up Valpo's all-time chart outdoors in the pole vault on Saturday afternoon, clearing 10'10” on her second attempt at the height. The mark is good for second all-time in Crusader history, less than six inches shy of the school record in the event.
A number of Crusaders posted top-15 finishes on the track Saturday. A trio of Valpo runners finished sixth through eighth in the 3,000m steeplechase, with freshman Nicole Zehel (Wixom, Mich./Lutheran Westland) leading the way with a time of 12:08.26. Fellow rookie Grace Watkins (Hanover Park, Ill./Hoffman Estates) finished right behind Zehel with a time of 12:08.28, while freshman Grace Shemwell (Clinton, Iowa/Clinton) rounded out the triumverate with an eighth-place finish, crossing the line in 12:15.61. Sophomore Haley Kerlin (Rensselaer, Ind./Rensselaer) crossed the line fourth in the 10,000m run, registering a time of 41:34.50.
Senior Jorie Ballun (Oswego, Ill./Oswego) finished 12th in the 400m hurdles, completing the circuit in 1:13.24, while freshman Claire Johnson (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) ran a PR in the 800m run, crossing the line in 2:23.89 to also pick up a 12th-place finish. Back on the infield, freshman Sarah Drozdowski (Roselle, Ill./Lake Park) placed tenth in the shot put with a mark of 38'7” and also tossed the hammer 153'3”, good for 14th place.
The Crusader women continue their outdoor season next Saturday, April 23, at the Pacesetter Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind. The meet is scheduled for an 8 a.m. CDT start.