The Valparaiso men's track and field team posted five efforts among the top-five in Crusader history on the track on Saturday as the Crusaders finished in third place at the Eagle Invitational in Lisle, Ill.
Valpo tallied 72.5 points on Saturday for the third-place finish among the 20-team field. UIC earned top team honors with 110.5 points.
The Crusaders' 4x100m relay squad, comprised of freshman Ricky Laskowski (Dixon, Ill./Dixon), sophomore Logan Coan (Chicago, Ill./Rich East), sophomore Joe Holy (Bolingbrook, Ill./Joliet Catholic) and freshman Nick Kowaleski (Lockbourne, Ohio/Grove City), took top honors in the event on Saturday with a blazing time of 41.85 seconds. The time was the second-fastest in Crusader history and the fastest since the move to meters from yards, as the only faster time came on an adjustment in a 4x100y team in 1968. Meanwhile, Valpo's 4x400m relay squad placed fourth with a time of 3:22.60, third-fastest all-time at Valpo and also the fastest since the move to meters.
On the track, the sprints contained the other three efforts within Valpo's all-time top-five. Sophomore Julian Smith (Chicago, Ill./Brother Rice) crossed the line first in the 200m dash with a time of 21.24 seconds, second-best in Crusader history and three-tenths of a second faster than his previous PR in the event. Smith's time also ranks just outside the top-50 in the NCAA East region in the event this season. Kowaleski covered the 200m in 21.76 seconds, good for fifth place and the fifth-fastest time all-time at Valpo.
Then, in the 100m dash, Smith also took top honors, covering the distance in 10.72 seconds. Kowaleski wasn't far behind his teammate, however, crossing the line in 10.82 seconds, a personal best and the fourth-best time in the event in Crusader history. The Crusaders made it a trio of runners in the top-eight in the 100m dash, as Coan placed eighth with a time of 11.14 seconds. Other sprints saw Laskowski earn a podium finish with a third-place showing in the 400m hurdles, crossing the line in 58.23 seconds, while freshman Kevin Adamik (Elmhurst, Ill./York Community) came home tenth in the 400m dash with a time of 50.19 seconds.
Junior Wally Bradford (Mukwonago, Wis./Mukwonago) ran to a fifth-place finish in the 5,000m run with a time of 15:42.30 on Saturday. Meanwhile, on the infield, Valpo got a fourth-place finish from Smith in the long jump, as the sophomore posted a leap of 22'5 1/4”. Sophomore David Goad (Dixon, Ill./Dixon) matched the fourth-place showing in the shot put with a mark of 45'10”. Freshman Jeremy Getz posted a throw of 168'5” in the javelin, good for sixth place, while redshirt junior Chris Hovan (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Christian) finished seventh in the triple jump with a leap of 42'0”.
Valparaiso returns to action next weekend at the Al Owens Classic in Allendale, Mich. The two-day meet starts Friday, April 20 at 11 a.m. CDT.