The Valparaiso University cross country programs garnered significant momentum in advance of the upcoming Missouri Valley Conference Championships by virtue of a strong showing at the Bradley Pink Classic, the final meet prior to the conference championship, which was hosted at Newman Golf Course in Peoria on Friday. The Beacons posted a slew of personal records including four entries into the program record book.
How It Happened
- Ignacio Veloz Bonilla (San Juan, P.R. / American Military Academy) led the Valpo men by finishing the 8K in 24:39.1, good for 75th in a large and competitive field. His time not only represented a personal best, but moved him up to second in program history. He bumped Aaron Crague’s 2001 time of 24:55 from the top-2 and finished second to only Alexander Bruno’s 2018 program record of 24:23.
- Veloz Bonilla was followed closely by Simeon Ehm (Castle Rock, Colo. / Heritage), who checked in second on the team with a time of 24:48.3. That mark ranks third in program history behind the aforementioned performances by Bruno and Veloz Bonilla.
- A third Beacon cracked the program’s all-time top-10 in the men’s race as Evan Walda (Fort Wayne, Ind. / South Side) finished in 25:00.2. His time ranks seventh in program lore.
- Veloz Bonilla, Ehm and Walda were among the many Valpo men who established personal records. Freshman Joseph Scheele (Scheele / Mahomet, Ill. / Mahomet-Seymour) also had a personal best at 25:23.3, as did Sean Curran (Plainfield, Ill. / Plainfield North) at 26.28.5, Cameron Sheehy (DeMotte, Ind. / Kankakee Valley) at 26:28.7, Rylan Dreyer (Downers Grove, Ill. / Downers Grove South) at 26:46.0 and Alex Valerio (Rockford, Ill. / Boylan Catholic) at 27:36.5. Another solid time came courtesy of Eric Carothers (Fishers, Ind. / Hamilton Southeastern) at 25:02.5.
- The women’s program record book also received a new entry on Friday in Peoria. After clocking a time of 22:28.6 in the 6K, Grace Aurand (Highland, Ind. / Highland) now ranks sixth in program history in that event. She paced the Valpo women with the program’s fastest 6K since Liz Bloy at the 2014 Horizon League Championship.
- Ellie Roeglin (Delafield, Wis. / Lake County Lutheran) checked in at 23:10.3, followed by Kaitlynn Leady (Chesterton, Ind. / Chesterton) at 23:37.5. Both of them achieved PRs, as did Alina Worzella (Martinsville, Ind. / Martinsville) at 23:58.6.
- In the men’s “white” (B) race, William Neupert (Beloit, Wis. / Turner) led the team with a PR of 27:15. Ben Fields (Westville, Ill. / Victory Christian) finished in 27:43.7, Brian Sponaugle (Milton, De. / Mariner) at 28:05.5 and Marek Potuznik (Hoffman Estates, Ill. / Fremd) at 29:29.3 – all setting PRs as well.
- The Valpo men finished 16th of 35 in the team scoring, finishing ahead of five MVC foes.
- Click here for full results.
The Beacons will look to keep the solid races coming on Friday, Oct. 28 as Indiana State hosts the MVC Championships in Terre Haute, Ind.