info from Lake Superior State University
Lake Superior State sophomore Justin Balczak, of Cedar Springs, made another impressive showing on a national stage by placing second in the men’s decathlon at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships hosted by Colorado State University.
Balczak, who was also the heptathlon runner-up during the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships, improved upon last season’s third-place outdoor decathlon finish. Defending outdoor champion J Patrick Smith of Chico State won the 2013 decathlon title with 7,612 points, while Balczak placed second and earned All-America honors with a school-record 7,387 points. NCAA indoor champion Brent Vogel of Central Missouri State was third with 3,384 points. Saginaw Valley State’s Tyler Grob took fourth with 7,230 points.
Smith opened the competition with wins in the 100-meter dash and long jump, and finished no worse than third in five other events. Balczak’s lone victory came in his specialty, the 110-meter hurdles, where he clocked a :14.34.
During Thursday’s opening day of competition, Balczak placed 11th in the 100-meter dash (:11.21), second in the long jump (7.23 meters) and shot put (13.37 meters), third in the high jump (1.96 meters), and sixth in the 400-meter dash (:49.80). On Friday, after winning the hurdles, he was 12th in the discus throw (33.84 meters), fifth in the pole vault (4.40 meters) and javelin throw (54.61 meters), and seventh in the 1,500-meter run (4:59.41).
Also on Friday, Balczak finished 15th in the 110-meter hurdles individual race with a time of 0:14.27.
Balczak is a 2011 graduate of Cedar Springs High School. While in high school, he was a state champion in the 110m high hurdles and broke school records in the high hurdles, 300m low hurdles, and the 800m relay. He is the son of Mark and Ann Balczak of Cedar Springs.