The Valparaiso University track and field teams took to a slick track Saturday for Day 2 of the Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Championships during a rainy day at Indiana State. The day was highlighted by two personal records in the 800- one each from Julia Rustmann (Grosse-Pointe, Mich./ Grosse Pointe North [Michigan State]) and Conner Hickey (Peru, Ill./ LaSalle-Peru) - as well as a PR by Zack Fortener (Byron, Ill./ Byron), who competed in the decathlon.
How It Happened
- Fortener finished his first career decathlon in style. In his first collegiate 1500, he finished second among the decathletes, running a 4:48.56. Overall, Fortener finished the event with 4,979 points.
- Rustmann qualified for Sunday’s finals in the 800, finishing seventh with a career-best time of 2:15.72. Hickey led the men’s team in the event, setting a new personal best with a time of 1:54.60.
- Ben Sekuloski (Lowell, Ind./ Lowell) led a group of three Valpo runners in the men’s 400, finishing 10th with a time of 50.27.
- Sydney Bronner (Frankenmuth, Mich./ Frankenmuth) finished tied for eighth in the high jump, earning half a point for Valpo. She tied her career-best with a mark of 5-3¼ (1.61m) and maintained her second-place spot in Valpo history.
- Brian Hughes (Orland Park, Ill./ Carl Sandburg) set a personal record in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.75.
- Three Valpo throwers set new watermarks in the shot put. Alek Trafton (Lockport, Ill./ Lockport) and Michelle Pierce (Indianapolis, Ind./ Heritage Christian) each set new career bests in the event, hitting distances of 42-0¾ (12.82m) and 37-1 (11.30m), respectively. Jake Rasawehr (Celina, Ohio/ Celina) furthered his season-best, team-leading mark with a throw of 44-1¼ (13.44m).
- Will Maidment (Woodstock, Ill./ Woodstock) tied his career-best in the high jump with a mark of 6-5½ (1.97m).
- Jack Worman (Hanover Parks, Ill./ Hoffman Estates) set a personal best in the 3000-meter steeplechase, clocking in at 9:38.42. Claire Kovarik (Downers Grove, Ill./ Downers Grove North) shaved nearly 20 seconds off of her previous best in the event, coming across the line on Saturday at 12:50.88.
Thoughts from Head Coach Ryan Moore
“We battled the elements today. Our teams fought hard to earn some good results.”
“It's a process, and we are a young group. They are hungry, and I am excited to see how we grow over the next several years. There is still work to be done to finish out the season, and we want to have as many high notes as possible the rest of the weekend.”
“Hats off to Julia Rustmann for her efforts in the 800 and earning a spot in finals, and to Conner Hickey for gutting out a great mark in the 800 as well. Our high jumpers topped off the evening with some great results as well.”
Valpo will wrap up their season Sunday in Terre Haute with the third and final day of the MVC Championships. Links to live results and the ESPN+ video coverage are available on ValpoAthletics.com.