After a week of participating in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, the Valparaiso University track and field team opened up the 2018 outdoor season at the McNeese Cowboy Relays, also known as the Bob Hayes Challenge, on Saturday in Lake Charles, La. The Crusaders boasted seven individuals in the top seven in their events, all scoring points for the squad in the team standings.
How It Happened
- Sophomore Jake Rasawehr (Celina, Ohio / Celina) was the highest finisher in any event for the Crusaders, turning in a third-place mark of 156 feet, 7.5 inches in the discus. Rasawehr turned in the team’s best distance in that event a year ago at 162-1, a throw that ranks second in program history.
- Andrew Guzek (Valparaiso, Ind. / Valparaiso) began his senior season by scoring points in a pair of events. His heave of 169-2.5 ranked fourth in the hammer, while his discus toss of 147-6 was good enough for a seventh-place finish. Guzek shattered his previous personal bests in both events.
- Freshman Carli Sowonik (Hebron, Ind. / Hebron) turned in a mark of 10-8 in the women’s pole vault to garner a fifth-place finish and four points in the team scoring. The Northwest Indiana local held the distinction of being the only member of Crusader women’s team to score points in what was the first outdoor meet of her collegiate career.
- Freshman Joey Black (O’Fallon, Ill. / O’Fallon) was Valpo’s top performer in the track events, coming in fourth in the 1,500 by crossing the line in 4:07.44 in his outdoor collegiate debut.
- Junior Kyle Baker (Essex, Vt. / Essex) contributed five points to the team scoring by virtue of his fourth-place finish in the pole vault. He turned in a mark of 14-5.25.
- Valpo’s rookies excelled in the outdoor opener, as three of the team’s six point scorers were freshmen. Tony Elliott (Walkerton, Ohio / Sacred Heart) rounded out that trio with a 157-5.25 in the hammer throw.
The Crusaders will have some time away from competition before an Easter weekend journey to the Lone Star State, as the team partakes in the Bobcat Invitational (San Marcos, Texas) and the Texas Relays (Austin, Texas) beginning on Thursday, March 29.