The Valparaiso University men’s and women’s track and field teams traveled to the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls on Saturday to open the 2019-20 Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships. Shannon Lahey (Dixon, Ill./ Dixon) became Valpo’s first female pentathlete in a conference meet since 2008 and recorded the program’s best score in the event.
How It Happened
• Lahey shattered her own program record in the women’s pentathlon. Her score of 2,516 bests her previous school record by 300 points. Along the way, Lahey earned a career-best in the shot put, hitting 26-8½ (8.14m). She also tied her career bests in the 60-meter hurdles (9.91) and the high jump (4-0¾, 1.24m).
• Alexander Bruno (Bloomington, Ill./ University) qualified for the mile finals with a time of 4:17.59, the fastest time in the qualifying round.
• Sierra Fischer (Brookfield, Wis./ Brookfield [Carroll]) qualified for Sunday’s 400-meter dash finals after she finished the qualifying round in 57.53.
• Emanuel Daggett (Chicago, Ill./ Gavit) will also compete in Sunday’s 400-meter dash finals after recording a finish of 49.76 in the men’s preliminaries. Teammate Ben Sekuloski (Lowell, Ind./ Lowell) finished in 50.12 — just three one-hundredths of a second shy of qualifying for the finals.
• Senior Jake Rasawehr (Celina, Ohio/ Celina) led the team in the weight throw, hitting a mark of 55-11¾ (17.06m), earning a PR by nearly two feet for the first time since last year’s indoor championships. Rasawehr qualified for the finals in the event and had his best weight throw on the last attempt of his career. In addition, Rasawehr finished ninth, just over a foot shy of scoring for his team. Sophomore Eddie Juszczak (Lowell, Ind./ Lowell) finished just behind his teammate in 10th after throwing 55-1 (16.79m).
• Sophomore Taylor Smith (Crown Point, Ind./ Columbus East) recorded two PRs on Day 1 of the Championships, recording a 60-meter time of 8.55 and a 200-meter time of 28.36.
• Lauren Mikolajczak (Bloomingdale, Ill./ Montini Catholic) led the women’s team in the weight throw at 51-9¼ (15.87m). Hayley Krulik (Crown Point, Ind./ Crown Point) finished just behind her teammate in the standings with a career-best mark of 51-5 (15.67m). Krulik improves her fifth-best mark in Valpo’s history by one-and-a-half feet.
• Senior Taylor Allen (Zionsville, Ind./ Zionsville), freshman Lukas Sepulveda (Camano Island, Wash./ Stanwood) and sophomore Brian Hughes (Orland Park, Ill./ Carl Sandburg) each came within 0.03 of their PR in the 60-meter dash, finishing at 7.23, 7.28 and 7.58, respectively. Sepulveda was also able to register a new career highwater mark in the 200-meter dash, a time of 23.08.
• Dominic Paoletti (Monroe, Mich./ Monroe St. Mary) finished 11th in the 5000-meter run, recording a time of 15:06.99.
• Zach Fortener (Byron, Ill./ Byron) began competition in the men’s heptathlon Saturday, earning a PR in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.36.
Inside the Meet
• Both the men’s and women’s teams finished the first day of the meet with 1 point a piece, each from an eighth-place finish in the distance medley relay.
• Valpo had three runners advanced from preliminary races—Bruno in the mile, and Fischer and Daggett in the 400. The finals in those events will take place Sunday. In addition, Fortener will compete in the heptathlon’s three remaining events.
Thoughts from Head Coach Ryan Moore
“Jacob Rasawehr making finals [in the weight throw] was a huge win for us. He wanted to hit 17 meters so badly, and he finally got that mark on the final throw of his indoor career. Hayley [Krulik] threw great as well.”
“Bruno cruised to a win in his prelim race, and he is set up well for tomorrow. Emanuel [Daggett] and Sierra [Fischer] ran great; it’s great to see them both make finals. Taylor Smith had a two-PR day as well.”
“The athletes are doing their best, and for me that’s all I can ask. I want them all to remember to show up, be real, have fun and show me your heart — and that’s exactly what we are seeing out there.”
Valpo will wrap up their indoor season Sunday on the second and final day of the MVC Indoor Championships. Links to coverage of the meet can be found at ValpoAthletics.com