Sophomore Julian Smith (Chicago, Ill./Brother Rice) broke his own school record in the 200m dash en route to the event victory Sunday, leading the Valparaiso men’s squad as it placed sixth at the 2012 Horizon League Indoor Track and Field Championships in Youngstown, Ohio.
The Crusaders tallied 30 points over the two-day event to finish in sixth place, edging out Detroit. Milwaukee took the team championship with 125 points.
Smith, who was the fastest qualifier for the event final in the 200m dash, improved upon his qualifying time by two-tenths of a second, covering the distance in 21.59 seconds to easily break his previous program record of 21.70 seconds. The time was also 0.17 seconds faster than the runner-up finisher Sunday.
Smith also earned a second-place finish in the 60m dash on Sunday, crossing the line in 6.90 seconds to make it three top-four finishes at the league championship meet. Freshman Nick Kowaleski (Lockbourne, Ohio/Grove City) finished in eighth place at the same event with a time of 7.11 seconds.
Two other Crusaders also posted all-time top-five efforts in program history. Freshman Ricky Laskowski (Dixon, Ill./Dixon) became Valpo’s best scorer all-time in the heptathlon, totaling 4,065 points over the seven events to finish in seventh position. Laskowski’s best events were the pair of short sprints, as the rookie covered the 60m hurdles in 9.01 seconds to tally 744 points and then was the second-fastest athlete in the 60m dash, crossing the line in 7.41 seconds to earn 742 points.
On the infield, junior Andrew Rixon (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield) earned a podium finish in the shot put after unleashing a toss of 50’4”, good for third place. The PR for Rixon also marked the third-best effort in the event all-time at Valpo. Freshman Jacob Frey (St. Paul, Minn./Roseville Area) finished in eighth place in the shot put as well with a mark of 45’0 ½”, while junior Chris Hovan (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Christian) placed ninth in the triple jump, leaping 42’0 ¾”.
Back on the track, Valpo’s 4x400m relay squad of Joe Holy, Tyler Crum, Mickey Delcambre and Kevin Adamik ran to a sixth-place finish, covering the distance in 3:26.40. Junior Wally Bradford (Mukwonago, Wis./Mukwonago) paced the Crusader contingent in the one mile run, while senior Nick Fagan (Sycamore, Ill./Sycamore) led the way for Valpo in the 3,000m run.
Valparaiso closes out the indoor season at the Alex Wilson Invitational, hosted by Notre Dame next Friday and Saturday, March 2-3.