Valparaiso cross country head coach Mike Straubel announced today that Claire Johnson, Grace Shemwell and Grace Watkins have all agreed to join the Crusader women’s cross country and track squads as freshmen during the 2010-2011 school year.
Johnson will be coming to Valpo from Eden Prairie [Minn.] H.S. An All-State honoree in both cross country and track, she also serves as a captain for her school’s track and field team. Johnson has posted career-best times of 2:17 in the 800m run and 15:02 in the 4K.
Shemwell joins the Crusader team from Clinton [Iowa] H.S. A First Team All-Conference selection on the undulating terrains during cross country season, she has qualified for state final meets in both cross country and track and field during her prep career.
Watkins arrives at Valpo from Hoffman Estates [Ill.] H.S., where she has earned All-Conference accolades during her track and field career both individually in the 800m run and as part of her squad’s 4x800m relay team. Also an All-Regional selection on the track, she qualified for the state final meet during cross country season and has posted a top three-mile time of 18:48 during her high school career.
“These three runners will be the core of a very competitive team for four years,” said Straubel. “They have the talent and work ethic to push each other and run as a pack, a pack that can think about winning a Horizon League championship.”