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Tag Archive | "Justin Balczak"

Cedar Springs athlete crowned national champion


N-Balczak-national-champion1Justin Balczak, a 2011 Cedar Springs High School graduate, is now a national champion in the heptathlon. He competed for Asuza Pacific University, located in southern California, in the two-day NCAA Division II Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama during the weekend of March 13. The heptathlon is a seven-event meet that measures speed, endurance, strength and agility. Balczak entered the meet seeded fourth in the nation and competed against 13 other athletes at the national championships.

On day one, Balczak competed in the 60m dash (7.33 sec.), long jump (22’ 3.5”), shot put (43’ 8.75” with a 16 lb. shot), and the high jump (personal best of 6’ 10.5”). Balczak’s marks put him in third place after the first day of competition.

N-Balczak-national-champion2Day two brought on three different events—the 60m hurdles (8.24 sec), pole vault (14’ 9”) and concluded with the 1000m run (2:45 for another personal best). Balczak needed his personal best in the 1000 because he learned before the race that he was in second place and he needed to beat the first place competitor by 8 seconds.

Balczak began his collegiate career at Lake Superior State University and was Division II All-American while attending. He sat out his junior season to prepare to transfer and face a new challenge.

“The multi has a different mindset than any other event in track and field. The camaraderie that is displayed in this event is unlike anything else in college track,” he explained. “We are the guys who cheer each other on, pick each other up, and push each other to limits we never knew our bodies could handle.”

As a four-year member of the boys high school track and field team, Justin competed in the 110m high hurdles (2011 state champion), 300m intermediate hurdles (2011 state runner-up), 4x400m relay, 4x200m relay (member of the 2011 school record team), 4x100m relay and shot put (2011 conference champion). Even though he now high jumps 6’ 10”, and pole vaults 14’ 9”, he never tried those events while in high school.

His next challenge is to prepare for the decathlon this spring. Added events include the discus, javelin and 400m dash.

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Balczak wins Fallis award


Lake Superior State University Math Professor Tom Boger presents track and field’s Justin Balczak with the Jim Fallis Award during an all-sports banquet April 17 at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

Lake Superior State University Math Professor Tom Boger presents track and field’s Justin Balczak with the Jim Fallis Award during an all-sports banquet April 17 at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

Justin Balczak, a 2011 graduate of Cedar Springs High School, has won the Jim Fallis Award, from Lake Superior State University.

The award, named after LSSU’s All-American wrestler and former director of athletics, goes to an All-American or student-athlete who has excelled in the classroom and in his or her sport.

Balczak, a junior at LSSU, is a four-time All-American in the multi-events. He finished second in the NCAA Outdoor decathlon last spring and third the year before. At the NCAA Indoor Championships, he has finishes of 10th, second and fifth in the heptathlon. He owns LSSU school records in both events, along with the indoor 55-meter hurdles, and outdoor 110-meter hurdles and pole vault.

He got off to a slow start during this year’s NCAA Indoor heptathlon, but improved throughout the meet, topping off his performance with a first-place finish in the shot put. He went on to finish fifth in the event. He is red-shirting during this outdoor season.

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Balczak records runner-up finish in NCAA decathlon


info from Lake Superior State University

Justin Balczak (left) placed second in NCAA decathlon.

Justin Balczak (left) placed second in NCAA decathlon.

 

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.

S-Balczak-takes-second2Smith 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.

 

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