Valpo Men Open 2012 HL Indoor Championships
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Valpo Men Open 2012 HL Indoor Championships
Julian Smith qualified for two event finals and finished fourth in the long jump Saturday. (Ron Stevens)

The Valparaiso men’s track and field team sits in seventh place after the first day of competition at the 2012 Horizon League Indoor Track and Field Championships in Youngstown, Ohio.

The Crusaders have five points after the first day of competition.  Loyola currently leads the field of seven teams with 39 points.

Julian Smith (Chicago, Ill./Brother Rice) enjoyed a stellar day both on the track and in the infield for the Crusaders Saturday.  Smith was the top qualifier for Sunday’s final in the 200m dash, setting a new facility record with a time of 21.79 seconds, and qualified second-fastest for the 60m dash final, crossing the line in 6.92 seconds.  Then, in the long jump, Smith unleashed a personal-best jump of 22’9 ¼”, good for a fourth-place finish and moving him into third on Valpo’s all-time chart in the event.

Two other Crusaders had efforts on the track that rank among Valpo’s all-time top-five.  Nick Kowaleski (Lockbourne, Ohio/Grove City) also qualified for the event final in the 60m dash with a time of 7.05 seconds, moving him into fourth place in Crusader history in the event.  Joe Holy (Bolingbrook, Ill./Joliet Catholic) crossed the line in the 400m dash with a time of 50.54 seconds, which ranks third all-time at Valpo.

On the infield Saturday, Bill Rixon (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield) contributed to the Crusaders’ score with a sixth-place finish in the weight throw, registering a top toss of 52’9 ¼”.  Meanwhile, Ricky Laskowski (Dixon, Ill./Dixon) totaled 2,226 points through the first four events of the heptathlon.

Valparaiso will close out the league indoor championship meet on Sunday, with action from Youngstown starting at 8 a.m. CST.