Valparaiso University's men's track team is in fourth place after the first day of competition at the Mid-Continent Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships held Friday in Sterling, Ill.
The Crusaders tallied 22 points on day one, just four points behind third place Oral Roberts. Southern Utah currently leads with 63 points through five events, while Western Illinois is second with 51 points. UMKC scored 16 points on Friday, while Chicago State is sixth with 14 points.
Valpo scored ten of its points in the long jump, where three individuals finished in the top-eight. Elliot Powell (Orange, Calif./Santa Ana H.S.) led the way with a fourth place finish with a leap of 21'0 ½". Joshua Lee (Yellow Jacket, Colo./Montezuma-Cortez H.S.) was one spot back with a jump of 20'8". Wes Kosko (Emporia, Kan./Emporia H.S.) rounded out the scorers, jumping 19'10 ¾" to finish eighth.
Bryan Bell (Bellevue, Neb./Bellevue East H.S.) and Josh Stamper (DeMotte, Ind./Kankakee Valley H.S.) each earned fifth place finishes in field events on the day as well. Bell was fifth in the weight throw with a toss of 52'8", while Stamper cleared 13'5 ¼" to earn the same place in the pole vault.
The Crusaders distance medley relay also earned a fifth place finish on the evening, as Dennis Kabara (Chuka, Kenya/Meru H.S.), Jeff Moscinski (Rockford, Ill./Christian Life H.S.), Matthew Wheeler (Dixon, Ill./Dixon H.S.) and Adam Piaskowy (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee H.S.) crossed the finish line with a time of 11:07.54.
The only other event to hold finals on Friday was the 3000m run, where Matt Blume (Logansport, Ind./Pioneer H.S.) placed tenth as Valpo's top finisher with a time of 9:05.31.
Preliminary heats were held in the sprints on day one in addition to the five finals. Powell qualified for the finals in the 60m dash with a time of 6.96 seconds, while also earning a finals berth in the 200m with a mark of 22.32 seconds. Sean Barfield (University Place, Wash./Curtis H.S.) and Adam Wierciak (Ottawa, Ill./Marquette H.S.) both advanced to Satruday's finals in the 60m hurdles with times of 8.43 seconds and 8.89 seconds respectively. Wierciak was also Valpo's top finisher in the 400m with a time of 51.69 seconds, but did not advance to the finals.
Valpo will return to the track on Saturday morning to conclude the conference championships, with the first event slated for a 10 a.m. start.