Senior Jarrett Mickens (Aurora, Ill./Waubonsie Valley) demolished the school record in the long jump, while freshman Julian Smith (Chicago, Ill./Lincoln Park) won the 200m dash as the Valparaiso men’s track and field squad finished third Friday at the Tadd Metzger Invitational in Kenosha, Wis.
The Crusaders tallied 64 points Friday evening for their third-place finish out of a 16-school field. UW-Stevens Point earned the team title, accumulating 145.5 points.
Mickens unleashed a jump of 23’9” in the long jump Saturday to obliterate the previous Crusader record, set by Jeff Thomas in 1976 at 22’10 ½”. Mickens’ leap earned the event victory in a 32-athlete field by nearly eight inches. Smith recorded a podium finish as well in the event, jumping 22’2 ¼” for a third-place showing, the fifth-best mark in Crusader history in the event.
Elsewhere on the infield, senior Steve Schubert (Naperville, Ill./Benet Academy) and sophomore Chris Hovan (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Christian) leapt 44’8 ¼” and 41’7 ¼” in the triple jump, respectively, and placed fourth and tenth. Sophomore Charlie Walesa (Chicago, Ill./Luther North) cleared 6’0 ¾” in the high jump to finish eighth, while freshman Sean Carey (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township) posted a ninth-place finish in the pole vault by clearing 11’11 ¾”.
Smith earned one of Valpo’s two event victories on the track Friday, covering the 200m dash in 22.80 seconds for his first victory as a Crusader. Valpo also placed three athletes in the top-seven of the 800m run, led by sophomore Wally Bradford (Mukwonago, Wis./Mukwonago), who ran to a runner-up finish with a time of 2:00.74. Senior David Carter (Arlington Heights, Ill./John Kersey) placed fifth with a time of 2:04.75, while junior Keith Button (Farmington Hills, Mich./Farmington) crossed the line in 2:05.73, good for seventh place.
The Crusaders boasted a trio of athletes in the top-eight in the 5,000m run as well Friday. Senior Joel Hartenberger (Albuquerque, N.M./Sandia) paced the Valpo pack with a fourth-place finish, covering the distance in 16:18.22. Junior Jordan Piaskowy (Crete, Ill./Illiana Christian) completed the race in 16:31.08, good for sixth place, and senior Chris Bednarczyk (Westfield, Ind./Westfield) rounded out the trio with an eighth-place showing, crossing the line in 16:53.25. Valpo’s distance medley relay team took top honors on Friday as well, as the Crusaders completed that race in 10:56.92.
Valparaiso returns to action next Saturday, Feb. 5 as the Crusaders make the short trip east to the Meyo Invitational in Notre Dame, Ind.