The Valparaiso University track & field program enjoyed success in the weight throw event in both the men’s and women’s competitions on Saturday afternoon at Purdue Fort Wayne, part of a day that saw the Beacons notch four first-place finishes at the Mastodon Invitational in Fort Wayne.
How It Happened
- Senior Michelle Pierce (Indianapolis, Ind. / Heritage Christian) led a group of three Beacons in the top five in the women’s weight throw by winning the 12-participant event. Her toss of 15.48m (50.98) accounted for one of four Valpo victories on the day. Pierce added a fourth-place finish in the shot put at 10.41m (34-2).
- Pierce was followed in the weight throw by Mackenzie Patten (Highland, Ind. / Milford) and Tori Gerhardt (Westville, Ind. / Chesterton) as the Valpo women took three of the top five spots in the event. Patten placed third with a career-best throw of 14.51m (47-7.25), while Gerhardt rounded out the top five at 14.37m (47-1.25).
- The men’s weight throw also saw a Beacon finish atop the field, as Eddie Juszczak (Lowell, Ind. / Lowell) turned in a heave of 17.22m (56-6). His teammate Alek Trafton (Lockport, Ill. / Lockport) placed third at 15.80m (51-10).
- Another Valpo first-place finish came courtesy of Tristan Malatlian, whose pole vault of 4.30m (14-1.25) propelled him to the top spot in that event.
- In addition to the three firsts in field events, Valpo also had an event win on the track. That came thanks to Joely Overstreet (Genoa, Ill. / Genoa-Kingston), who clocked a 19:17.52 in the women's 5,000. In the men’s 5,000, Brady Southern (Fishers, Ind. / Hamilton Southeastern) led the team with a career-best time of 16:25.15 to finish second.
Valpo will return to action on Friday, Jan. 28 at the GVSU Bill Clinger Classic in Allendale, Mich.