The Valparaiso University Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2016 will be officially inducted in a ceremony on the Valpo campus this Saturday afternoon. The 19th class in Hall of Fame history – Steve Bartholomew, Bert Bleke, Liz Mikos and Scott Petcu – will also be honored at halftime of the men’s basketball game versus Wright State Saturday night.
Steve Bartholomew ’08, ’11 MBA was a standout for the Valpo men’s track and field team from 2005 through 2008. Steve twice earned conference Athlete of the Year honors, picking up the highest accolade 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, Steve 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. Steve earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Valparaiso University in 2008. He also received a master of business administration from Valpo in 2011, serving as a strength coach in the athletics department while working toward this degree. A four-time USA Track and Field All-American in the weight throw following his graduation, Steve currently works as the President and CEO of Dominator Athletics, which produces throwing implements for field athletes nationwide.
Bert Bleke ’67 was a star wide receiver for the Valpo football program for three seasons in the mid-1960s. Despite playing just three years, Bert ranks seventh in program history with 1,636 receiving yards. A threat to go the distance every time he caught the football, Bert averaged 18.6 yards per catch during his three seasons and finished 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 squad, which shared the ICC championship crown. Bert also played one season of varsity basketball for the Brown and Gold. A 1967 graduate of Valparaiso University with a bachelor’s degree in physical education, Bert is retired after a long career in education, including more than a decade as a school system superintendent.
Liz Mikos ’06 was the most dominating defensive player in program history for the Valpo volleyball team from 2002 through 2005. Liz 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. Liz 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 Valpo to conference tournament titles and NCAA Tournament appearances in each of her final three seasons. This earned her All-Tournament Team accolades all three years and conference tournament MVP honors as a senior. Liz owns the top-three single-season block totals in program history — including a school-record 196 as a sophomore, good for second in the nation — and also ranks eighth in Valpo history in career hitting percentage. Liz, a 2006 graduate of Valparaiso University with a bachelor’s degree in history, is currently working toward a Ph.D. at UC San Diego and is employed as a training and development consultant.
Scott Petcu ’95 was a force on the defensive side of the ball for the Valpo football program from 1990 through 1993. Scott concluded his four-year collegiate career with 507 career tackles to establish a program record. A Sports Network Division I-AA Honorable Mention All-American as a senior in 1993, Scott was selected as a First Team All-Pioneer Football League choice at linebacker in the league’s inaugural season and led the PFL with 134 total tackles in 10 games. He also earned Division I-AA Non-Scholarship National Player of the Week honors from Football Gazette as a senior following a win against Michigan Tech in which he made 16 tackles. Three of his four seasons he ranked among Valpo’s all-time top five in single-season tackle totals, highlighted by his 167 total tackles as a sophomore in 1991 — which established the program record. Scott, who posted 333 solo tackles during his four years, also holds the team record with a 100-yard interception return for two points on a failed two-point conversion. A 1995 graduate of Valparaiso University with a bachelor’s degree in communications, Scott is currently self-employed as a small business owner.