Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Men Set to Begin 2009-2010 Track and Field Campaign
Jarrett Mickens is among the Crusaders' top returning athletes this year. (Ray Acevedo)
Jarrett Mickens is among the Crusaders' top returning athletes this year. (Ray Acevedo)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Head coach Ryan Moore has the Valparaiso men’s track and field team ready for the 2009-2010 season, with the indoor slate set to kick off on Saturday at Illinois State’s Redbird Open.

Moore, now in his fourth season as head coach of the Crusaders, welcomes back 17 letterwinners from the 2008-2009 squad.  He has brought in 11 newcomers as well this year to comprise the 2009-2010 team.

Sophomore Vince Liuzzo boasts the top Horizon League Championship event placement last year of the Crusaders’ returnees, as he finished second in the javelin throw outdoors last year.  Liuzzo, one of five returning Crusaders with top-ten finishes in a championship event last season, also ranked among Valpo’s top sprinters last year.  He will be joined in the sprints by juniors Jarrett Mickens, who was the top Crusader last season in the middle-sprint events, and Ryan Ruppel, as well as freshmen Mike Kash and Alex Rahn, who will focus on the hurdles.

Liuzzo will also be focusing more on the jumps this year as well, joining an experienced corps of jumpers in the Valpo lineup.  Mickens earned a trio of top-ten finishes over the league indoor and outdoor meets in the jumps and ranks among the Crusaders’ all-time best triple jumpers, while junior Steve Schubert also earned top-ten showings both indoors and outdoors in the triple jump last season.  They will be joined this year by newcomer Chris Hovan.

“Vince will be doing more work on the jumps this year, and we really look for him to help push that group to better performances this season,” said Moore.  “We have a young, talented sprints group as well and my hope is that our upperclassmen bring the young guys along, as we have a lot of untapped potential in that group.”

Sophomore Bill Rixon looks to lead the Crusader throwing contingent this season, coming off of an outdoor championship season where he finished fourth in the league in the discus throw and seventh in the hammer throw.  Bill’s younger brother, Andrew Rixon, joins the Valpo squad as a freshman this year, as does fellow thrower Ryan Stegenga.

Valpo also brings back a large corps of runners from the cross country squad, as 18 distance runners dot the Crusader track roster.  Among the top returnees in the distance category are sophomore Jordan Piaskowy, who finished ninth outdoors at the Horizon League Championships last year in the 3,000m steeplechase, and junior Joel Hartenberger, who was among Valpo’s top long-distance runners last year and paced the Crusader cross country team on four occasions this year.

“Bill is definitely going to be one of the top returning throwers in the league, especially during the outdoor season but possibly indoors as well,” said Moore.  “We will also be counting on our distance runners this season to step up and help out the team, putting some points on the board for us during the indoor campaign.”

Valpo’s schedule aims to have the Crusaders peaking for the league championship events, both during the indoor and outdoor seasons.  The indoor slate will kick off December 5 at the Redbird Open in Normal, Ill.  The Crusaders will also run at Grand Valley State, Michigan, Findlay, Chicagoland and Purdue during the indoor campaign, before heading to Ann Arbor, Mich. to take part in the Horizon League Indoor Championships February 27-28.  The NCAA Indoor Championships will be held March 12-13 in Fayetteville, Ark.

The outdoor season begins March 27 at the Polar Bear Invitational in Marion, Ind.  Valpo will also compete at DePauw, Miami, Northern Illinois, Purdue and Aquinas throughout the month of April.  The Horizon League Outdoor Championships will take place April 30-May 2 in Lisle, Ill.  Any athletes that qualify for the NCAA Mideast Regional will compete May 28-29, while the NCAA Outdoor Championships will be held June 9-12 in Eugene, Ore.

Softball Northern Illinois 6 VU Softball Field
Apr 8 Valpo 8
Baseball Valpo 5 Evanston, Ill.
Apr 8 Northwestern 12
Softball Northern Illinois 3 8 inn.
Apr 8 Valpo 4
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 11:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 5:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26 Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo