Ben Sekuloski took a step back when he heard that he broke a 43-year-old record at the Meyo Invitational at Notre Dame last weekend.
The Lowell product and Valparaiso sophomore ran the 400-meter dash in 48.57 seconds, breaking the 1975 mark of 48.8 seconds. Sekuloski also contributed to the men’s distance medley relay school record as the quartet of Sekuloski, Jack Mader, Ben Zibricky and Alexander Bruno finished in 9:57.64, shaving off nearly nine seconds from the 2016 record.
“It’s just crazy,” Sekuloski said while wearing a wide smile. “I went out hoping to drop a good time. Nothing makes you expect that you’re going to go out there and break record, especially one that has been around for that long.”
Bruno continued Valparaiso’s record-breaking weekend by running the mile in 4:12.43, besting the 1978 mark of 4:13.
“I was in the throwing area when I saw Bruno come around and make his last kick,” Valparaiso coach Ryan Moore said. “I ran down to the finish line and just wrapped my arms around him in a bear hug.”
The women’s team also had strong performances at the meet. Senior Kim Heiny moved into top five in program history in the 5,000 with a time of 17:53.29. Junior Nellie Bonham posted a season-best throw of 42-feet, 4 3/4 inches in the shot put, beating her previous best throw by nearly two feet.
“Breaking the 400 and mile records that have stood for so long is really an accomplishment,” Moore said in a school release. “Having success like this means we have to raise our level of expectations as we move closer to the conference championships. I’m confident that this group can continue to rise to the challenge.”
The Crusaders have two more indoor meets before the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships begin on Feb. 24 in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Pride starts strong: The Purdue Northwest men’s tennis started its spring season with a splash last Friday as the Pride knocked off No. 23 Oliver Nazarene 6-3 at the Park Forest Tennis Club in Park Forest, Illinois.
LaPorte product Dru Kennedy helped get the Pride off to a good start, teaming with No. 3 doubles partner Mauricio Villacres to defeat Lucas Bolt and Joel Rodriguez 8-3. The Pride took two of the three doubles points and then Kennedy once again delivered, knocking off Rodriguez 6-3, 6-2 at No. 6 singles.
Purdue Northwest won four of the six singles matches, all of them coming in straight sets. Ulf Grosseloh fell to Olivet Nazarene’s Alfonso Martinez at No. 1 singles in a tightly contested match (4-6, 6-2, 10-6).
The Pride return to Match Point Tennis Club in Griffith on Saturday for a home match against Illinois-Springfield before playing their next four matches away from home. Purdue Northwest went 2-2 during the fall season and include several local athletes, including Griffith’s Jacob Adams and Lake Central’s John Mamelson.