Led by a victory by sophomore Julian Smith (Chicago, Ill./Brother Rice) in the 60m dash, the Valparaiso men's track and field team competed in its final meet before the league championship meet on Saturday, taking part in the Boilermaker Invitational in West Lafayette, Ind.
Smith was just the fifth-fastest qualifier into the event finals in the 60m dash, but once there, edged out Purdue's Mario Cosey by one-hundredth of a second, earning the event win with a time of 7.00 seconds flat. The sophomore also posted a fifth-place finish in the long jump on Saturday, leaping 21'6”.
The Crusaders' underclassmen led the way on the track on Saturday. In addition to Smith, freshman Eric Loria (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) also posted a top-five effort, running to a fourth-place finish in the 800m run with a time of 2:02.57. Freshman Ricky Laskowski (Dixon, Ill./Dixon) led the Valpo contingent in the 200m dash with a seventh-place finish, crossing the line in 23.52 seconds.
Sophomore Joe Holy (Bolingbrook, Ill./Joliet Catholic) paced the Crusaders in the 400m dash, crossing the line in 53.06 seconds, good for eighth place. Holy also ran the anchor leg of Valpo's 4x400m relay squad, joined by Laskowski, freshman Kevin Adamik (Elmhurst, Ill./York Community) and sophomore Mickey Delcambre (Westfield, Ind./Westfield) to post the winning time of 3:32.46.
On the infield, the Crusaders received a pair of tenth-place finishes in the throws. Freshman Jacob Frey (St. Paul, Minn./Roseville Area) placed tenth in the shot put with a toss of 43'5 3/4”. Meanwhile, senior Bill Rixon (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield) matched the tenth-place showing with a mark of 51'0 1/4” in the weight throw.
Valparaiso goes to the 2012 Horizon League Indoor Track and Field Championships next weekend in Youngstown, Ohio, a two-day meet beginning on Saturday, Feb. 25. Action is slated to get underway at 8 a.m. CST both days.