The Valparaiso women’s cross country team took to the course for the second time this season on Friday afternoon, competing at the Spartan Invitational in East Lansing, Mich. Fifth-year senior Whitney Bowman (Portage, Ind./Portage [Purdue]) paced the Crusader runners.
Bowman ran the fastest 6K time of her career on Friday, crossing the finish line in 23:30, good for 79th place out of the field of 231 runners. Freshman Nicole Zehel (Wixom, Mich./Lutheran Westland) was next across the line for Valpo, covering the course in 23:54 to finish in 107th position.
Fellow rookie Claire Johnson (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) also earned a top-half finish, coming home in 23:57 to place 112th overall. Sophomore Haley Kerlin (Rensselaer, Ind./Rensselaer) ran the 6K in 25:05, good for 147th place, while senior Kelsey Stueland (Tipton, Iowa/Tipton Community [Iowa]) rounded out Valpo’s top-five runners in her Crusader debut, placing 149th with a time of 25:09.
Michigan State’s Emily MacLeod took home individual top honors with a time of 20:46 over her squad’s home course. No team scores were tallied for Friday’s race. Valparaiso returns to competition in two weeks, making the short trip east to compete at the Notre Dame Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 1.