VALPARAISO | Crown Point may have earned a permanent blacklisting from the Valparaiso Relays on Friday night.
The Bulldogs, participating in the 57th Annual Valparaiso Relays for the first time this year, broke Valparaiso’s 30-year winning streak in the event, edging out the Vikings 118-117.5.
The track events had been over for more than a half hour by the time the final results were announced, drawing boisterous applause from the Crown Point athletes.
“This is just awesome,” Crown Point senior Tristan Peterson said. “Valparaiso is a huge rival and the streak was something that was brought up all week. We knew about the tradition here and we wanted to end the streak.”
Peterson and his teammates almost got their chance last season before rain wiped away the meet just minutes before the first event. Having a chance to come back this season was something that Peterson was looking forward to in his final year with the Bulldogs.
“It was a bummer, but it only got us more excited for this year,” Peterson said.
Peterson helped clinch the team title with a strong performance in the 1,600-meter relay. The Bulldogs edged out Bowman Academy by a little more than a second in one of the last events of the evening. The team of Peterson, Nick Faso, Troy Grady and Zack Seamon crossed the finish line in 3:23.27.
“It’s such a huge race across the conference and it was big for us to get a win over Chesterton and Valparaiso,” Peterson said. “Winning this gives us a lot of confidence that we have a deep team. At the same time, we’ve got to get back next week and put in the practice and the hard work to keep going.”
Grady added a victory in the 110 hurdles event while Seamon helped win the 3,200 relay. Crown Point coach Keith Iddings was surprised at how quickly the event moved and how fast his athletes had to move from event to event.
“I maybe didn’t appreciate how much time there was going to be,” Iddings said. “My guys really impressed me in their ability to keep going. Our guys were willing to go deep into the well and this was an opportunity for them to show me what they have.”
While there was some disappointment in the stands about Valparaiso coming up short, Viking coach Brett Polizotto wasn’t crying over spilled milk after the event.
“We know that Crown Point has a good team and that they’d bring a good squad,” Polizotto said. “I don’t know if it changes anything. I tell our guys that every time they go on the track they should do better than the time before. We’re always working to improve. We’re not done yet.”
Chesterton's Brett Lara set a personal best in the pole vault with a mark of 15-00 while South Bend Washington's 400 relay team set a new meet record with a time of 42.49.