One week after hosting the inaugural Crusader Open at Warren G. Hoger Track, the Valparaiso men’s track and field team will head north to Rochester, Mich. for the Horizon League Outdoor Championship on Friday.
The Crusaders have been especially strong in the field events this season, with 19 top-ten marks in field events among the Horizon League this season and 24 overall.
After a third-place performance in the javelin at last year’s championship, senior Jeremy Getz (Colorado Springs, Colo.) has been a man on a mission this season. Already the school record holder in the event (modern-era), Getz bested that mark by over four feet with his throw of 64.84m/212-9 at the Tennessee Relays on April 11. He owns the top mark in the league by over 22 feet and his throw is the only one over 200 feet. He ranks 37th in the nation. Freshman Dylan Antonides (Wauconda, Ill./Home school) holds the third best mark in the league (54.53m/178-11).
Sophomore Justin Zosso (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton) is the defending champion in the pole vault and has gotten even better this year. After repeating as the indoor champion at Youngstown State, Zosso bested the outdoor record at the Gene and Rose Edmonds Invitational on March 21, clearing 4.65m/15-3. He would best that record by four inches on April 4 at the DePauw Outdoor Invitational. He holds the top mark in the league by 11 and a half inches. The second best mark is held by freshman teammate Alexander Watson (Bolivar, Ohio/Tuscarawas Valley), whose mark of 4.46m/14-7.5 is the second best height in school history.
The quintet of junior Jacob Smutz (West Lafayette, Ind./Harrison), junior Chris Sosnowski (Greenfield, Ind./Greenfield Central), senior Jacob Frey (St. Paul, Minn./Roseville Area) and freshman Andrew Guzek (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) all hold top-six marks in the Horizon League. Smutz has the second best mark in the discus and holds second best mark in school history (48.17m/158-0) while his throw of 56.94m/186-10 in the hammer ranks sixth in the league. Sosnowski owns the third best discus mark in school history as well as the third best league mark this season with his heave of 48.12m/157-10. He ranks seventh in the hammer (53.40m/175-2). Frey ranks fourth in the hammer (58.18m/190-10) and sixth in the discus (43.60m/143-10), respectively, while Guzek holds the sixth spot in the shot put (15.12m/49-7.25).
After setting the school record in the heptathlon and finishing second at the indoor championship, junior Elijah Owen (LaPorte, Ind./LaPorte) looks to add on the decathlon after a solid season. He ranks fourth in javelin (51.45m/168-9) sixth in pole vault (3.95m/12-11.5), 12th in the long jump (6.32m/20-9) and 17th in the 110 meter hurdles (17.31).
Freshman Jonathan Heagy (Latrobe, Pa./Greater Latrobe) ranks eighth in high jump with his height of 1.85m/6-0.75.
Freshman James Sampson (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley), sophomore Alex Franze (Gunter, Texas/Texas) and freshman Brandon Riley (Chicago, Ill./Morgan Park) lead the Brown and Gold in the sprints. Sampson holds the top spot in the 100m with his times of 11.20 (2.5) and 11.22 (wind-legal) while Franze leads the Crusaders with his top time of 22.60 (2.7). In the 200m, Riley leads the team with his time of 51.09.
Sophomore Adam Bruno (Bloomington, Ill./Normal) holds the top team times in the 1,500m (3:59.11) and 5,000m (15:42.43).
Action begins on Friday with the decathlon starting at 9:00 am CT. The discus, javelin, and 10,000 meter run will also take place during the afternoon and evening. Live results will be available at ValpoAthletics.com. Sunday’s events will also be broadcasted on the Horizon League Network. For more information, including complete schedules, heat sheets, and directions, visit the Horizon League Outdoor Championship Central Page at http://www.goldengrizzlies.com/sports/c-track/spec-rel/c-track-championship-15.html.