Four individuals will be inducted into the Valparaiso University Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday, Feb. 13. Steve Bartholomew, Bert Bleke, Liz Mikos and Scott Petcu comprise the 19th class in Hall of Fame history.
Bartholomew was a standout for the Crusader men’s track and field team from 2005 through 2008. Bartholomew twice earned conference Athlete of the Year honors, picking up the highest accolade at the league level from the Mid-Continent Conference following the 2006 outdoor campaign and the Horizon League following the 2008 indoor campaign. Also named the Horizon League’s Outstanding Field Performer for both the indoor and outdoor championship meets in 2008, Bartholomew competed in three NCAA Regional meets during his career. A five-time conference champion and a nine-time All-Conference performer, he holds three school records and also owns the Horizon League Championship record indoors in the weight throw.
Bleke was a standout wide receiver for the Valpo football program from 1964 through 1966. Despite playing just three seasons, Bleke still ranks seventh in program history with 1,636 receiving yards. A threat to go the distance every time he caught the football, Bleke averaged 18.6 yards per catch over his three seasons and ended his Valpo career with 14 touchdown receptions. He earned First Team All-Indiana Collegiate Conference accolades in each of his final two seasons as a Crusader, and was an integral part of the 1964 Crusader squad which shared the ICC championship crown. Bleke also played one season of varsity basketball for the Brown and Gold as well.
Mikos was perhaps the most dominating defensive player in program history for the Crusader volleyball team from 2002 through 2005. Mikos concluded her four-year career with 585 total blocks, 142 more than any other player in Crusader history and second-most in Mid-Continent Conference (now Summit League) history. Mikos was a three-time All-Conference selection, including a First Team All-Mid-Con honoree in 2003, and was the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2005. She was an integral part of three conference regular season championship squads and helped the Crusaders to conference tournament titles and NCAA Tournament appearances in each of her final three seasons, earning All-Tournament Team accolades all three years and conference tournament MVP honors as a senior. Mikos owns the top-three single-season block totals in program history and also ranks eighth in Crusader history in career hitting percentage.
Petcu was a force on the defensive side of the ball for the Valparaiso football program from 1990 through 1993. Petcu concluded his four-year Crusader career with 503 career tackles to establish a program record. A Sports Network Honorable Mention All-American as a senior in 1993, Petcu was selected as a First Team All-PFL choice at linebacker in the league’s inaugural season. Three of his four seasons ranked among Valpo’s all-time top-five single-season tackle totals, highlighted by his 167 total tackles as a sophomore in 1991, which established the program record. Petcu, who posted 333 solo tackles over his four years, also holds the team record with a 100-yard interception return for two points of a failed two-point conversion.
The Valparaiso University Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Banquet will be held on Saturday, Feb. 13 in the Harre Union on campus. The banquet is slated to begin at 4 p.m. The cost of the banquet is $30 per person, and reservations can be made by contacting Lori Babcock at 219.464.6942 or via e-mail at Lori.Babcock@valpo.edu. The deadline for making reservations is Friday, Feb. 5. The inductees will also be recognized at halftime of the men’s basketball game that evening.