Crusaders Finish Final Tuneup For HL Championships
Jorie Ballun ran a career-best time in the 400m hurdles Saturday. (Tim Busch)
Crusaders Finish Final Tuneup For HL Championships
Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Valparaiso women's track and field squad completed its final tuneup for the upcoming Horizon League Outdoor Championships Saturday evening, competing at the Stan Lyons Invitational in Indianapolis, Ind.

Freshman thrower Sarah Drozdowski (Roselle, Ill./Lake Park) posted a trio of top-25 finishes on the day for the Crusaders.  Drozdowski set a season-best mark in the hammer throw with a toss of 155'7”, good for 11th place and improving on her fourth-best mark in Valpo history in the event.  Drozdowski also registered a 22nd place finish in the discus throw, recording a throw of 123'0”, and tied for 21st in the shot put with a mark of 38'5 1/2”.

Senior Jorie Ballun (Oswego, Ill./Oswego) ran a career-best time in the 400m hurdles Saturday, crossing the line in 1:09.09, good for 18th place and under a second shy of breaking into the Crusaders' all-time top-five in the event.  A pair of Crusaders also tallied top-25 finishes in the 1,500m run, led by freshman Claire Johnson (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie), who crossed the line with a personal-best time of 4:47.25 to finish in 17th place.  Fellow rookie Nicole Zehel (Wixom, Mich./Lutheran Westland) also ran a career-best time in the event, placing 25th with a time of 4:59.33.

Freshman Grace Shemwell (Clinton, Iowa/Clinton) ran Valpo's fastest time of the 2011 outdoor campaign in the 3,000m steeplechase Saturday, coming home in 12th place with a time of 11:56.72.  Elsewhere on the infield, freshman Kelley Freeman (Valparaiso, Ind./Chesterton) cleared 9'11 3/4” in the pole vault, good for an 18th place showing.

Valparaiso heads to the Horizon League Outdoor Track and Field Championships next weekend.  The three-day meet begins in Indianapolis on Friday afternoon, May 6, at 1 p.m. CDT.