Valparaiso University's men's track and field team finished in fourth place at the Mid-Continent Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which concluded on Saturday in Cedar City, Utah.
The Crusaders concluded the meet with 77 points, easily outdistancing fifth place Chicago State as the Cougars scored 45 points. Southern Utah won the team title with 282 points, followed by Western Illinois with 242.5 points and Oral Roberts with 122.5 points. UMKC finished in sixth place with 41 points.
Day three of competition began with the final field events of the meet. Kristopher Schmautz (Missoula, Mont./Hellgate H.S.) picked up a third place finish in the javelin with a toss of 169'4" to grab a quick six points for the Brown and Gold.
Valpo failed to score in the remaining field events, as Eric Smith (Portage, Ind./Portage H.S.) turned in the team's best toss of 140'2" to finish 10th in the discus while Jonathan Braun (Saratoga, Wyo./Saratoga H.S.) was 11th in the triple jump with a leap of 39'6 ½".
When the events on the oval began, the Crusaders opened with a fourth place finish in the 4x100m relay with a time of 43.00 seconds.
The 1,500m run saw Dennis Kabara (Chuka, Kenya/Meru H.S.) just miss out on the scoring with his ninth place finish with a time of 4:15.00. The Crusaders placed two runners in scoring positions in the 110m hurdles, though, as Adam Wierciak (Ottawa, Ill./Marquette H.S.) and Sean Barfield (University Place, Wash./Curtis H.S.) finished third and fourth respectively. Wierciak finished in 15.25 seconds, while Barfield was just .15 seconds behind.
Matthew Wheeler (Dixon, Ill./Dixon H.S.) finished fifth in the 400m dash with his time of 49.44 seconds, just .20 out of a top-four position. Wesley Kosko (Emporia, Kan./Emporia H.S.) placed eighth in the 100m dash in 11.54 seconds, just .06 seconds away from moving up two sport. Valpo did not score in the 800m run though, as Kabara was again the team's top finisher with a 15th place effort in a time of 2:10.09.
Wierciak earned third place in the 400m hurdles with his time of 54.80 seconds in a very competitive race. His time was just .59 seconds off the lead and .05 seconds out of second. Matt Blume (Logansport, Ind./Pioneer H.S.) scored the final individual points of the meet for Valpo with his sixth place finish in the 5,000m run. The senior crossed the line in 16:10.47.
The final event of the competition saw Valpo finish in fifth place in the 4x400m relay. The Crusaders finished in a time of 3:22.71, just .06 seconds out of fourth.
Valpo has now concluded its 2004 season.