Walda, Aurand Lead Beacons at Spartan Invite
Friday, September 16, 2022
Walda, Aurand Lead Beacons at Spartan Invite
Evan Walda (right) achieved a career best in the 8K on Friday.

The Valparaiso University men’s and women’s cross country teams hit the road for the first time this season to take part in the Spartan Invitational, hosted by Michigan State on Friday in East Lansing, Mich. The Valpo men were paced by Evan Walda (Fort Wayne, Ind. / South Side), while Grace Aurand (Highland, Ind. / Highland) led the way on the women’s side.

How It Happened

  • Walda completed the 8K in 25:23.47, establishing a new personal best and garnering a top-25 finish in a field of over 250 competitors.
  • Simeon Ehm (Castle Rock, Colo. / Heritage) finished in 43rd, stopping the clock in 25:40.93, his 8K PR.
  • The third Beacon to cross the finish line in the men’s race was Eric Carothers (Fishers, Ind. / Hamilton Southeastern), who was 58th with a time of 25:57.38. Ignacio Veloz Bonilla (San Juan, P.R. / American Military Academy) was close behind at 26:02.99 (62nd), while freshman Joseph Scheele (Mahomet, Ill. / Mahomet-Seymour) rounded out the team’s top five at 27:46.55.
  • The men finished 11th of 18 in an event that was won by Grand Valley State. Host Michigan State took the team title on the women’s side.
  • Aurand’s 6K time checked in at 23:50.44, achieving a spot in the top 100, 95th of 217.
  • She was followed by Kaitlynn Leady (Chesterton, Ind. / Chesterton), who was second on the team with a personal-best time of 24:21.34.

Up Next

The Beacons will return to the course on Friday, Sept. 30 for the Joe Piane – Notre Dame Invitational in Notre Dame, Ind.