The Valparaiso University track and field teams enjoyed two successful days of competition at the Meyo Invitational hosted by Notre Dame on Friday and Saturday. The Crusaders came away with three new school records and multiple personal bests at the Loftus Sports Center against some of the nation’s best athletes. Leading the way was sophomore Ben Sekuloski (Lowell, Ind./Lowell), who broke a 43-year-old record in the 400-meter dash, and junior Alexander Bruno (Bloomington, Ill./University), who took down a 40-year-old record in the mile. The men’s distance medley relay also put its mark atop the record book.
How It Happened
- Senior Kim Heiny (Burnettsville, Ind./Twin Lakes) started things off by moving into the Top 5 in Valpo history in the women’s 5000-meter run. With a time of 17:53.29, she now sits fourth in that event.
- In the women’s shot put, junior Nellie Bonham (Palos Hills, Ill./Stagg) posted a season-best throw of 42 feet, 4¾ inches. Her previous mark this season was 40-7.
- Sekuloski crossed the line in 48.57, breaking the record of 48.8 that had stood since 1975 in the 400-meter dash. He finished in 10th, ahead of athletes from Big Ten programs.
- Senior Ben Zibricky (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln Way Central) moves up to third on the all-time list with his 1:55.25 effort in the 800-meter run.
- Another school record went down in the mile when Bruno finished in 4:12.43. The previous record of 4:13.0 had been in place since 1978.
- The third school record to fall was by the men’s distance medley relay. The quartet of junior Jack Mader (Granger, Ind./Penn), Sekuloski, Zibricky and Bruno combined for a time of 9:57.64. The previous mark was set in 2016 with a time of 10:06.45. They placed third behind only Big Ten powers Ohio State and Michigan State and ahead of Missouri Valley Conference foe Illinois State.
- In the men’s pole vault, sophomore Jeremy Seiler (Angola, Ind./Fremont) placed ninth overall with a career-best mark of 15-5. His previous best was 15-1½. Senior Alex Watson (Bolivar, Ohio/Tuscarawas Valley) finished just behind Seiler in 10th at the same height.
- With a distance of 56-0 in the weight throw, senior Andrew Guzek (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) finished the competition in eighth.
- Sophomore Jake Rasawehr (Celina, Ohio/Celina) posted career bests in both the shot put and weight throw. His toss in the shot put was 48-8¼, compared to his previous farthest of 47-11¼. Rasawehr added six inches in his weight throw effort that was recorded at 50-10.
Thoughts from Head Coach Ryan Moore
On Competing Against Top Competition: “I am thrilled at the results from this meet. The Meyo Invitational is one of the best-known track meets in the country. Having the opportunity to take as many athletes as we did and then walk away with performances like that means we are really on the right track as we inch closer to the conference championships.”
On Record-Breaking Performances: “Breaking the 400 and mile records that have stood for so long is really an accomplishment, and these men deserve a huge congratulation on their hard work and efforts. Having success like this means we have to raise our level of expectations as we move closer to the conference championships. I’m confident that this group can continue to rise to the challenge.”
The Crusaders will head south to Bloomington, Ind. to compete at Hoosier Hills hosted by Indiana University on Friday, Feb. 9.