A champion successfully defending his title, a freshman setting a school record, a top-five school time, and finishing the day in first place as a team were just a few of the highlights for the Valparaiso men’s track and field team as they kicked off the Horizon League Indoor Track and Field Championship at Youngstown State on Saturday. The Crusaders lead after the first day of competition at the Watson and Tressel Training Site with 42 points.
The trio of Justin Zosso (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton), Nicholas Stack (Hobart, Ind./Hobart) and Alexander Watson (Bolivar, Ohio/Tuscarawas Valley) swept the top three spots in the pole vault for Valpo. Zosso repeated as the indoor champion by vaulting 4.65m/15-3, while Stack and Watson both cleared 4.55m/14-11 in their first collegiate championship meet.
The Crusaders had four scorers in the weight throw and five of the top seven throws. Jacob Smutz (West Lafayette, Ind./Harrison) and Jacob Frey (St. Paul, Minn./Roseville Area) finished second and third with tosses of 18.09m/59-4.25 and 18.05m/59-2.75, respectively.
Andrew Guzek (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso), Chris Sosnowski (Greenfield, Ind./Greenfield) and Isaiah Cook (Granger, Ind./Penn) took fifth, sixth and seventh, in the weight throw with marks of 16.43m/53-11, 15.27m/50-1.25 and 14.79m/48-6.25, respectively.
Freshman Brandon Riley (Chicago, Ill./Morgan Park) set the Crusader record in the 400 meter dash, sprinting across the finish line in 49.72 and getting the fifth seed for tomorrows finals.
In the last running event of the day, the distance medley relay of Dan Walters (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point), Kurtis Slenk (Holland, Mich./Holland Christian), Ben Zibricky (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln Way Central) and Adam Bruno (Bloomington, Ill./Normal) set the fifth fastest time in school history as they crossed in 10:30.89.
In the pentathlon, Elijah Owen (LaPorte, Ind./LaPorte) won the shot put (11.34m/37-2.25) and high jump (1.85m/6-0.75) to finish in third with 2,460 points after four events.
The Horizon League Indoor Championship concludes on Sunday at the Watson and Tressel Training Site in Youngstown, Ohio. Multi events and the high jump begins at 8:00 am CT. the triple jump and shot put start at 10:00 am and running events begin at 12:00 pm. Live video will be available on ESPN3.com beginning at 11:55 pm. Links to video and live results will be available through ValpoAthletics.com.