Freshman Jessica Richardson (Columbus, Ind./North) registered the second top-15 performance of her young career to lead the Valparaiso women’s cross country team as it competed Saturday at the Navy Invitational in Annapolis, Md.
The Crusaders posted a ninth-place team finish on Saturday morning out of the 11 competing teams, tallying 237 total points. The host U.S. Naval Academy won the team championship, while La Salle’s Caitlin Storbeck captured top individual honors.
Richardson crossed the line in the 6K race in Annapolis on Sunday with a time of 23:02.78 for her 15th-place finish. The rookie, who finished 14th in her debut two weeks ago in the Crusader Open, was just 24 seconds away from a top-10 placement.
Sophomores Nicole Zehel (Wixom, Mich./Lutheran Westland) and Claire Johnson (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) finished back-to-back as the next two Valpo runners across the line. Zehel placed 50th with a time of 24:01.36, while Johnson posted a time of 24:01.87 for her 51st place finish. Junior Haley Kerlin (Rensselaer, Ind./Rensselaer) finished 96th with a time of 25:08.76, while sophomore Grace Shemwell (Clinton, Iowa/Clinton) rounded out Valpo’s top-five, crossing the line in 26:16.66 to finish in 114th place.
Valparaiso returns to action in two weeks, making the short trip east to South Bend to compete in the Notre Dame Invitational on Friday, Sept. 30. Action is slated for a 1 p.m. CDT start.