Calvin - Valentine Claims All-America Berth in 400 Meters on Final Day of NCAA III Championships
Provided by Calvin
WAVERLY, Ia. - Calvin College sophomore Ethan Valentine picked up his second NCAA III All-America berth in as many years, placing seventh in the 400 meters at the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships Saturday afternoon at Wartburg College.
Valentine clocked in with a time of 48.31. Sophomore Daniel Pietsch of Emory won the race in a time of 46.92.
Valentine was fifth in the 400 meters at the 2015 NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. He entered Saturday as the No. 2 seed after clocking a school record time of 47.14 in the prelims Friday afternoon.
A native of Mason, Ohio, Valentine (William Mason HS) was unable to keep up with his torrid pace from the day before but still produced an All-America performance, becoming the first runner in Calvin men's track and field history to record back-to-back All-America races in the 400 meter run.
"Ethan has had a tremendous sophomore season," said Calvin head track and field coach Bret Otte. "I know he had hopes of a higher finish today but I am still extremely proud of him. He continues to improve and has a bright future ahead of him."
Valentine was one of two members of the Calvin men's track and field team that competed on Saturday as junior Zach Nowicki (Comstock Park/Calvin Christian HS) took 12th in the steeplechase with a time of 9:39.83. Nowicki went out hard during the first half of the race, running in the top four. Nowicki was unable to keep up with the strong pace over the final three laps however as he faded out of the chase pack.
"This was Zach's first appearance at nationals and he showed a lot of heart and determination," said Calvin co-distance coach Brian Diemer. "He went for it and that's all you can ask for as a coach. Zach learned a lot from this national meet and it will serve him well next year during his senior season."
Al Hoekstra, Calvin's co-distance coach mentioned the growth of Nowicki over his junior campaign. "Zach has taken a big leap forward this year, both in cross country and in track and field," said Hoekstra. "He learned a lot about mental toughness and he learned a lot on how to take the next step up as a runner. We are really looking forward to watching him run as a senior next fall and next spring."
Calvin finished tied for 70th place with two points.