When Emily Tromp stepped to the starting line of the Ball State Cardinal Duals, she was running for more than just her team. She had a very special person cheering her on.

"My dad drove 13 hours to come watch me today from Minnesota, so it felt really good," Tromp said. "I think we performed really well."

The freshman from Hibbing, Minnesota, didn't just perform well, she won the meet against Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, crossing the finish line with a time of 18:30.7.

TOP TEN CARDINALS

1. Emily Tromp, 18:30.7

2. Brooke Talhelm, 18:34.6

3. Lauren Whitehouse, 18:39.6

4. Maritza Rodriguez, 18:44.1

6. Jordan Timmons, 19:01.8

7. Kitty Taylor, 19:13.6

9. Peyton Kneadler, 19:28.9

11. Danielle Dahl, 19:34.5

13. Meliza Rodriguez, 19:41.6

15. Emma Manchess, 20:09.5  

Six Ball State runners finished in the top seven, including the top four spots, to defeat IUPUI 16-46. The Cardinals' average time was 18:43, well below what it had been in the previous two meets, when the Jaguars edged out the Cardinals. Distance coach Raynee DeGrio said she was pleased with the team's showing.

"It was a good confidence builder moving forward," DeGrio said. "It's exactly what we needed at this point in the season. It'll hopefully set the tone for the rest of the year."

Freshman Lauren Whitehouse, who said earlier in the week she wanted to break 19:30, finished third — almost a full minute under her desired time at 18:39.6.

"I think it'll help not only myself but the team's confidence as well," Whitehouse said. "We had five [runners] under 19:00 today, so it was pretty awesome."

In their next meet, the Cardinals will travel to Notre Dame for the Joe Piane Invitational on Sept. 30.