The Valparaiso University track and field teams wrapped up the Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Championships on Sunday in Terre Haute, Ind. The men’s 4x400-meter relay team of senior Brandon Riley (Chicago, Ill./Morgan Park) and sophomores Bryce Otterbach (Mendota, Ill./Mendota), Steve Helm (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) and Ben Sekuloski (Lowell, Ind./Lowell) set a new school record to highlight the day for the Crusaders. Sophomore Jeremy Seiler (Angola, Ind./Fremont) and junior Zach Topper (Portage, Ind./Portage) also moved up the record book in the men’s pole vault.
How It Happened
- With a time of 3:52.55 in the 1500-meter run, junior Alexander Bruno (Bloomington, Ill./University) had the top finish for Valpo on the day, placing fourth and scoring five points for the team.
- Junior Jack Mader (Granger, Ind./Penn) crossed the finish line for the men’s 5000-meter run in a time of 15:32.71, which was good for 12th place.
- In the men’s 4x100-meter relay, the quartet of freshman Da’Quan Harrell (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point), Brandon Riley, senior James Sampson (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) and sophomore Taylor Allen (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville) scored three points with a sixth-place finish in a time of 42.41.
- The men’s 4x400-meter relay saw Brandon Riley, Otterbach, Helm and Sekuloski combine for a seventh-place finish, scoring two points with a time of 3:17.07. That replaced the previous mark of 3:20.3 set in 1974.
- Seiler topped out at 16 feet, 0 inches in the men’s pole vault. He placed seventh overall and added two points to the team total. With that effort, he now claims the second-best spot in the event all-time for Valpo. He had moved up to third all-time with a mark of 15-1½ back on April 21.
- Also thriving in the men’s pole vault with a height of 14-8¼ was Topper (Portage, Ind./Portage), who moved up to fourth in school history. He finished 11th overall in the meet.
- Not to be outdone in the men’s pole vault, senior Alex Watson (Bolivar, Ohio/Tuscarawas Valley) also reached 14-8¼ in an extra attempt to finish 12th. He already owns the third-best mark in school history at 15-3.
- Junior Malik Riley (Romeoville, Ill./Romeoville) finished 11th in the men’s triple jump with a measurement of 41-6½.
- With a seventh-place finish in the men’s discus, sophomore Jake Rasawehr (Celina, Ohio/Celina) went 158-1 to score two more points for the Crusaders.
- Senior Andrew Guzek (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) was not far behind with a Top 10 finish in the men’s discus as well. His effort of 150-10 placed him ninth overall.
- The team combined for two new school records over the course of the Championships this weekend and set seven total between the indoor and outdoor seasons.
Thoughts from Head Coach Ryan Moore
“This was a great day for our athletes. They battled extremely hard for me today. Heat was measured on the track at over 120 at times. The 5000-meter run was brutally hot, so I commend those athletes for their efforts. Several coaches from across the conference commented that our kids really showed up to compete today. I am extremely proud of how much hard work our team put in while representing Valparaiso University in a positive manner.”