The Valparaiso University track and field teams posted several team and individual victories on Saturday at the Fort Wayne Duals inside the Mastodon’s Athletics Center Fieldhouse. The men came away with wins against Butler, Detroit Mercy, Evansville, IUPUI, Morehead State, Northern Kentucky and Oakland. The women topped Evansville, IUPUI, Morehead State and tied with Butler in the final team standings.
Senior Kim Heiny (Burnettsville, Ind./Twin Lakes) led the charge for the women with a win in the 5000-meter run. For the men, seniors Montel Hall (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan) and Andrew Guzek (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) won the triple jump and weight throw, respectively, while sophomore Ben Sekuloski (Lowell, Ind./Lowell) finished first in the 400-meter dash, and sophomore classmate Jeremy Seiler (Angola, Ind./Fremont) captured a win in the pole vault.
How It Happened
- Heiny was clocked at 18:16.55 as she crossed the finish line first in the 5000-meter run.
- In the women’s pole vault, freshman Carli Sowonik (Hebron, Ind./Hebron) was the runner-up, finishing at a height of 10 feet, 11¾ inches, which is a seven-inch improvement from last week.
- Sophomore Anne Mou (Bloomingdale, Ill./Lake Park) secured a second-place finish in the triple jump with a leap of 35-4. Classmate Shannon Lahey (Dixon, Ill./Dixon) wound up fourth in the same event with a jump of 32-9¾.
- With a throw of 38-9, junior Nellie Bonham (Palos Hills, Ill./Stagg) finished in fifth place in the women’s shot put.
- Freshman Lauren Mikolajczak (Bloomingdale, Ill./Montini Catholic) added another fifth-place finish in the women’s weight throw, with a toss of 47-9.
- For the men, sophomore Taylor Allen (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville) sprinted into fifth-place in the 60-meter dash. His time was 7.25.
- Sekuloski ran a 50.74, leading the way for a win in the men’s 400-meter dash.
- In the men’s 800-meter run, senior Ben Zibricky (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln Way Central) crossed the line third, with a time just over two minutes at 2:00.03. Junior Connor Hickey (Peru, Ill./LaSalle-Peru) was not too far behind, coming in at 2:00.68, which was good for fifth.
- The 3000-meter run saw junior Jack Mader (Granger, Ind./Penn) clock in at 8:42.60, which placed him in third.
- Freshman Will Maidment (Woodstock, Ill./Woodstock) wound up in third after he finished at a height of 6-2 in the high jump.
- Seiler’s victory came when he finished the highest in the pole vault at 14-11, two inches higher than last week. Senior Alexander Watson (Bolivar, Ohio/Tuscarawas Valley) found himself third, reaching a height of 14-5¼.
- Juniors Malik Riley (Romeoville, Ill./Romeoville) and Aaron Clark, Jr. (South Holland, Ill./Thornwood) finished second and third, respectively, in the men’s long jump. Riley went 21-2½, which was over a foot better than last week, while Clark’s jump was 20-10.
- In the triple jump, the Crusaders went 1, 2. Hall finished first with a leap of 43-1½, while junior Collin McCullough (Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead) went 42-3½ as runner-up.
- Sophomore Jake Rasawehr (Celina, Ohio/Celina) finished third with a throw of 47-11¼ in the shot put. Guzek went 46-10¼, which was good for fifth.
- Guzek was then victorious in the weight throw, tossing it 56-6, which was almost five feet farther than the runner-up.
Inside the Meet
- This meet marked the first time this season that the Crusaders came away victorious in either as a team or individual events. Valpo tallied five total individual event winners on the day.
- Sophomore Gelli Greer (Chicago, Ill./Williams Medical Prep.) had lifetime bests in both the women’s shot put (30-9) and weight throw (40-9).
Thoughts from Head Coach Ryan Moore
“On a shortened week, this was a great meet for a lot of the team. At this point in the season, it’s all about overcoming the mental grind. We are into a heavy-load portion of training, and it’s sometimes difficult to remain positive and feel like your body is giving you all you need. If we can control what is between the ears, we will be in good shape.”
The Crusaders will hit the road again next week, when they take a trip to Purdue University for the Fred Wilt Open on Saturday, Jan. 27.