Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Set to Open Track Season

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

After a 2005 campaign that saw the Crusaders break 11 indoor and seven outdoor records, the Valparaiso women's track and field team will look to shatter more records and move into the top half of the Mid-Continent Conference in 2006.

Head coach Tyler Wingard returns 15 athletes from last year's squad, a team that brought home fourth-place finishes in both the Mid-Con indoor and outdoor championships last season, and brings in six newcomers to complement the returnees.

Leading the way for the Crusaders in 2006 will be sophomore Melanie Wilson. Wilson burst onto the scene in a big way during her freshman campaign, breaking three school records in her first meet for Valpo. She was honored as the Mid-Con Newcomer of the Year after the outdoor championships, and was a member of both the indoor and outdoor All Mid-Con teams. Wilson also received Mid-Con Athlete of the Week accolades twice during the indoor season.

Wilson, who specializes in the jumps and hurdles, currently holds indoor and outdoor records in the long jump and the triple jump. Indoors, she broke records for the 200m, the 55m hurdles, and the 60m hurdles, as well as being a part of the record-setting 4x400m relay team. During the outdoor season, Wilson also set the 100m hurdles record and was a member of the record-setting shuttle hurdles relay.

The Crusaders also return an all-conference thrower in Emilie Marsicek. Marsicek, who was named All Mid-Con during both the indoor and outdoor seasons, set a school record during the outdoor season in the shot put. She also ranks among Valpo's all-time top-five performers indoors in the weight throw and shot put, as well as outdoors in the hammer throw, discus, and javelin.

Senior Jobeth Schmiesing is also coming off an All Mid-Con outdoor campaign. She received the all-conference honor after setting a school record in the 3000m steeplechase. Schmiesing was one of the top Crusader distance runners last season, both indoors and outdoors, and looks to continue setting the pace in 2006.

Maggie Zellner returns for her senior season after having been a part of two record-setting relays last year. Zellner anchored the indoor record-breaking 4x400m relay and was also a member of the outdoor shuttle hurdles relay. In addition, Zellner ranks among Valpo's all-time best in numerous sprint and hurdle events, both indoors and outdoors.

The Crusaders bring back another top sprinter in Patricia Kloth. Kloth led all Valpo sprinters in the 100m and 200m outdoors during her debut campaign, and moved into the all-time top-five in sprints during both seasons. In addition, she was a part of the record-setting shuttle hurdles relay. Kloth will also continue her development in the multi-events this season.

Valpo should be strong in the distance events, as Schmiesing and many other runners enter the track season on the heels of a successful cross country campaign. Danielle Nunnelly broke into the all-time top-five in numerous distance events last season, and will be called upon to pace the Crusaders' distance attack this year. Freshman Laura Rolf enters her inaugural track season after being named the Mid-Con cross country Newcomer of the Year. Also returning in the distance events for Valpo are Ashley Billstrom, Jennifer Plaskota, Lisa Schroeck, and Carrie Waterman.

Also returning in the sprint events for Valpo are Krissy Czapanskiy and Carissa Heinold, both of whom contributed to depth in the sprints last season and look to move toward the top this year.

The Crusaders have many athletes joining Wilson in the jump events in 2006. Heinold broke into the all-time top-five in the indoor long jump last season, while Czapanskiy, Julie Luloff, and Alicia Zinnecker also return for Valpo. Throwing alongside Marsicek in the infield will be returnee Amanda Hyttel and transfer Donielle Redwanc.
Valpo's schedule has been set up to have the Crusaders peaking for the Mid-Con championships.

The indoor season kicks off December 10, as the Brown and Gold compete at the Illinois State Earlybird Invitational. The Crusaders then take several weeks off over the holidays before returning to action January 21 at the Chicago Invitational. Valpo will compete each of the next four weekends, leading up to the Mid-Con Indoor Championships, held in Bloomington, Ill. February 26-27.

The outdoor season begins April 1, as the Crusaders travel to DePauw to take part in a quadrangular meet. The Brown and Gold will compete each of the following four weekends, before taking a weekend off in preparation for the Mid-Con Outdoor Championships May 11-13 in Chicago, Ill.

The Crusaders have many student-athletes who should compete for individual championships and All-Conference honors. The team finish will depend on their leadership, combined with the continued development of the returnees and the infusion of talent from the newcomers.
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. #21/21 Notre Dame
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay