Steve Bartholomew (Valparaiso, Ind./Morgan Township) posted a podium finish in the hammer throw to pace Valparaiso on the first of three days of competition at the 2007 Mid-Continent Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Kansas City, Mo.
The Crusaders totaled nine points on the meet's first day, good for third place, just four points shy of second position. Southern Utah currently paces the field with 46 points.
Bartholomew came in third place in the hammer throw, registering a toss of 175'5" to earn the bronze. Eric Smith (Portage, Ind./Portage) came in sixth place in the same event with a throw of 160'8", fourth-best in Valpo history.
In the only other event final of the day, Leandro Schultz (Valley View, Ohio/Brecksville-Broadview Heights) led four Crusader runners in the 10,000m run, crossing the line ninth with a time of 35:05.44. After five of ten events in the decathlon, Dustin Lawrence (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central) sits in sixth place.
Valparaiso returns to the track on Friday at 9:30 a.m. for the second day of competition at the three-day championship meet.