Led by a victory in the discus throw by Emilie Marsicek (Spalding, Mich./Carney-Nadeau), the Valparaiso women’s track and field team closed out day one of the Horizon League Outdoor Championships in fourth place. The Crusaders tallied 32 points on the first day of competition, just 17 points back of leader Youngstown State.
Marsicek took top honors in the discus throw with a toss of 140’9”, just nine inches shy of Valpo’s school record in the event. The senior outpaced the runner-up by over a foot. With the victory, Marsicek earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Mideast Regional in the event. Ini Umana (Cottage Grove, Minn./Park), who holds the program record in the discus, registered a mark of 139’5”, good for third place. Marsicek also posted a seventh-place finish Thursday in the hammer throw with a toss of 148’1”.
In other event finals held Thursday, the Crusaders tallied two top-five placements in the long jump. Melanie Wilson (Saint Louis, Mo./Rosati-Kain) came home third in the event, leaping 18’6 ½”, while Amanda Body (Harlan, Ky./Harlan) took fifth place with a jump of 18’3”. On the track, Rachael Button (Farmington Hills, Mich./Farmington) ran to a fourth-place finish in the 10,000m run with a time of 37:57.44, the fourth-fastest time in school history in the event, while Sara Christensen (Bettendorf, Iowa/Pleasant Valley) placed fourth in the 3,000m steeplechase, crossing the line in 11:58.34.
In preliminary heats on Thursday, Wilson registered the fastest qualifying time in the 100m hurdles, crossing the line in 14.74 seconds. The Crusaders had two runners qualify for the finals of the 100m dash, as Body completed the prelims in 12.48 seconds and Patricia Kloth (Medford, Wis./Medford Area) ran it in 12.75 seconds. Kloth also qualified for the finals in the 400m dash with a time of 59.47 seconds.Valparaiso closes out action at the Championships on Friday, with the events slated to kick off at 8 a.m. CDT.