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Valpo Women Continue Outdoor Season at Chicagoland Championships
Claire Johnson posted an eighth-place finish in the 800m run Friday. (Ray Acevedo)
Claire Johnson posted an eighth-place finish in the 800m run Friday. (Ray Acevedo)

Friday, April 08, 2011

Five different Crusaders combined for seven top-ten finishes as the Valparaiso women's track and field team finished in a tie for 11th place Friday afternoon at the Chicagoland Championships in Chicago, Ill.

The Crusaders tallied 22 points on Friday to finish in a tie for 11th with St. Francis (Ill.) and Trinity Christian.  North Central (Ill.) edged out Carthage and UIC for the team championship.

A pair of Valpo freshmen registered podium finishes on Friday to lead the Crusaders.  Kelley Freeman (Valparaiso, Ind./Chesterton) matched her season-best mark in the pole vault, tied for third-best in Valpo history, by clearing 10'6” for a third-place finish.  Sarah Drozdowski (Roselle, Ill./Lake Park) picked up a third-place finish as well in the shot put, registering a toss of 40'6 3/4”, just a quarter-inch out of the runner-up spot.

Drozdowski also tallied two other top-ten finishes on Friday.  The freshman placed fifth in the hammer throw with a mark of 149'1”, while also finishing eighth in the discus throw after recording a toss of 120'0”.  Fellow rookie Erica Funk (Blue Mound, Ill./Meridian) picked up her first career top-five finish in the discus throw as well, as her throw of 121'4” was good for fifth place.

Valpo also had a pair of runners post season-best times on the track Friday afternoon to account for two more top-ten placements.  Freshman Claire Johnson (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) ran to an eighth-place finish in the 800m run, crossing the line in 2:25.96.  Meanwhile, sophomore Haley Kerlin (Rensselaer, Ind./Rensselaer) covered the 5,000m distance in 18:53.65, good for tenth place.

The Crusader women return to action at the Dave Rankin Invitational in West Lafayette, Ind. next weekend.  The two-day meet begins on Friday, April 15 at 2 p.m. CDT.