The Valparaiso women’s cross country team returned to action for the first time in two weeks Friday afternoon in Peoria, Ill., taking 19th place at the Bradley Classic.
The Crusaders totaled 513 points in their 19th place finish, as they competed over 6K for the first time this season. Wisconsin took home top team honors with 76 points, led by individual race champion Caitlin Comfort.
Senior Sara Christensen (Bettendorf, Iowa/Pleasant Valley) led the Crusader effort on Friday, crossing the line in 24:10, good for 92nd place. Senior Whitney Bowman (Portage, Ind./Portage [Purdue]) was just nine seconds behind Christensen, finishing the race in 103rd place with a time of 24:19.
Senior Lindsey Gilman (South Bend, Ind./Marian) was the next Valpo runner across the line, completing the 6K course in 24:31 to finish 111th. Freshman Haley Kerlin (Rensselaer, Ind./Rensselaer) finished among the Crusaders’ top-five runners for the first time in her career, placing 132nd with a time of 25:06, while senior Caitlin Sauerhage (Rising Sun, Ind./Rising Sun [Indiana]) rounded out the Valpo scorers with a time of 26:12, finishing in 154th place.
Friday served as Valparaiso’s final tuneup for the 2009 Horizon League Championships, to be contested in Milford, Mich. on Saturday, Oct. 31. The women’s 5K championship is slated for an 11 a.m. CDT start time.