The Valparaiso University men’s and women’s track and field teams headed to Allendale, Mich. for the GVSU Big Meet on Saturday, save for a few of the men’s distance runners, who instead travelled to Boston to compete in the David Hemery Valentine Invitational. Sierra Fischer (Brookfield, Wis./ Brookfield [Carroll]), Alexander Bruno (Bloomington, Ill./ University) and Jack Worman (Hanover Parks, Ill./ Hoffman Estates) all set program records on a successful day for the program.
How It Happened - Boston
- Jack Worman (Hanover Parks, Ill./ Hoffman Estates) set Valpo’s program record in the 5000-meter run. His record-setting time of 14:43.69 comes just two weeks after teammate Dominic Paoletti(Monroe, Mich./ Monroe St. Mary) broke Aaron Crague then-record mark of 14:53.15, set in 2000. After standing for 20 years, the record has now been broken in consecutive meets.
- Bruno, a fifth-year senior, added another chapter to his storied athletic career for the Brown & Gold. He registered a time of 4:05.75 in the mile. The time easily topped the previous Valpo record of 4:08.87, which Bruno himself set less than one month ago at the Bill Clinger Classic.
- But Bruno did not stop there. Also on Saturday, he competed in the 3000-meter run, where he recorded a time of 8:20.01. That mark is the second-fastest time in Valpo history, and he is now just over a second-and-a-half from Aaron Crague’s 2001 record of 8:18:49.
- Dominic Paoletti (Monroe, Mich./ Monroe St. Mary) improved on his career-best in the race also, coming across at 8:28.15. The trio of Bruno, Worman and Paoletti have the three of the five best 3000 times in Valpo’s history.
- Ignacio Veloz Bonilla (San Juan, P.R./ American Military Academy) ran alongside Bruno in the mile, nearly missing his PR with a time of 4:23.14.
How It Happened - Allendale
- Sierra Fischer (Brookfield, Wis./ Brookfield [Carroll]) crushed the school’s all-time record in the indoor 400-meter dash. She finished fourth out of 98 runners with a time of 57.08. It is the fastest 400 ever run (indoor or outdoor) by a Valpo runner, and topped Karie Dahlgren’s 1998 record by over three-fourths of a second.
- Lauren Mikolajczak (Bloomingdale, Ill./ Montini Catholic) upped her career-best mark in the weight throw at 55-4¼ (16.87m), finishing seventh. She remains third all-time for Valpo in the event.
- Emanuel Daggett (Chicago, Ill./ Gavit) again led the team in the 60-meter dash, finishing just behind his career-best at 7.23. Daggett also led the team in the 400-meter dash. He broke 50 seconds, coming across the line at 49.79, good for fifth place and second best on the team this season.
- Will Maidment (Woodstock, Ill./ Woodstock) finished sixth in the high jump, clearing 6-3¼ (1.91m)
- Katherine Germann (Cincinnati, Ohio/ Finneytown) ran the team’s best 3000 meter of the season at 10:44.77. Alaina Carpenter (Grandville, Mich./ Grandville), who previously had the team’s best mark in the event, dropped her career-best time to 10:48.49 and now has the second-best time on the team. Anna Neal (Zionsville, Ind./ Zionsville) PR’d in the event, and Claire Kovarik (Downers Grove, Ill./ Downers Grove North) lowered her season-best time by over 50 seconds.
- Senior Jeremy Seiler (Angola, Ind./ Fremont) added to his season-best pole vault when he cleared 15-3¾ (4.67m), finishing third in the event.
- Michelle Pierce (Indianapolis, Ind./ Heritage Christian) led the team in the shot put with a mark of 35-2 (10.72m). Hayley Krulik (Crown Point, Ind./ Crown Point) threw for 34-10½ (10.63m), a new season best.
- Alek Trafton (Lockport, Ill./ Lockport) registered a new personal best in the weight throw when he finished eighth with a mark of 54-5 (16.07m)
- Anne Mou (Bloomingdale, Ill./ Lake Park) finished ninth in the triple jump, hitting a new season best in 35-5½ (10.81m).
- Taylor Smith (Crown Point, Ind./ Columbus East) set a career indoor-best in the 200-meter dash, finishing in 28.85.
- Eric Carothers (Fishers, Ind./ Hamilton Southeastern) made his debut in the 3000-meter run, leading his team with a time of 8:58.81. Fellow freshmen Cameron Sheehy (DeMotte, Ind./ Kankakee Valley) and Mike George (Waukesha, Wis./ Catholic Memorial) also set career bests.
- Lukas Sepulveda (Camano Island, Wash./ Stanwood) enjoyed a career-best in the 200-meter dash, crossing the line at 23.10.
- Joey Black (O’Fallon, Ill./ O’Fallon) lowered his indoor career-best in the 800-meter run to 1:58.44.
Thoughts From Associate Head Coach James Overbo
“It was a great meet leading up to the conference championships in two weeks. We saw multiple season bests, career bests and some all-time program bests. All of the athletes are competing at the levels we want them to be at during this point in the season. Sierra Fisher has been putting in some really great workouts on the track, and they are starting to pay off in competition. She is starting to notice more room for improvement, and her confidence is building with every meet.”
“We knew Manny [Daggett] had the talent to run these times, it was just a matter of waiting for him to mature physically and as a sprinter. He still has more great things to come.”
“The consistency from our throwers shows that they are primed and ready to compete in the championships. The fact that they can go out meet after meet and compete at the highest level, close to their PRs each meet, shows big growth and maturity from the group as a whole.”
Valpo will head to Notre Dame on Feb. 22 for the Alex Wilson Invitational, the team’s last meet before the MVC Championships. Expect a small squad for the meet, as many athletes will stay back to rest up for the Championships, which start Feb. 29.