Aurand Cracks Top 5 in Program History, Walda Paces Valpo Men
Friday, October 27, 2023
Aurand Cracks Top 5 in Program History, Walda Paces Valpo Men
Grace Aurand cracked the program's all-time top 5 on Friday.

The Valparaiso University men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the Missouri Valley Conference Championship, hosted by Belmont on Friday at Percy Warner State Park in Nashville. Grace Aurand (Highland, Ind. / Highland) became the first Valpo woman in nearly a decade to crack the program’s all-time top-5, while Evan Walda (Fort Wayne, Ind. / South Side) once again paced the Valpo men.

How It Happened

  • The first race of the morning was the women’s 6K, where Aurand moved up in the Valpo program record book with a time of 22:13.5 to finish 33rd. She improved her previous season-best 6K of 22:36.60 that came at the Bradley Pink Classic and outdid her career-best time of 22:28.6 from last year’s Bradley Pink Classic.
  • Aurand’s performance in Nashville helped her climb from sixth to fifth in program history in the 6K. She usurped Danielle Nunnelly’s 2006 time of 22:17.2 for a spot in the top-5, becoming the first Valpo women’s runner to crack the program’s all-time top-5 since 2014.
  • Freshman Vivian Rahmel (Springfield, Ill. / Sacred Heart-Griffin) was the next Beacon to cross the finish line, placing 84th with a time of 23:56.7 in her conference championship debut. She finished just seconds ahead of Joely Overstreet (Genoa, Ill. / Genoa-Kingston), who was 85th at 23:59.3. The team’s top four was rounded out by Alina Worzella (Martinsville, Ind. / Martinsville), who stopped the clock in 24:34.0.
  • As a team, the women finished 12th with a score of 315. Belmont took the team title, while Drake’s Brooke Mullins was the individual champion.
  • In the men’s 8K, Walda followed up his program-record performance from his last race with another strong showing, placing 13th in the meet with a time of 25:06.7.
  • Freshman Karson Hollander (Crystal Lake, Ill. / Crystal Lake) finished second on the team and 42nd overall with a 25:59.3 time.
  • The third Beacon to cross the finish was sophomore Joseph Scheele (Mahomet, Ill. / Mahomet-Seymour) at 26:03.2 (44th), while Alejandro Chaves rounded out the team’s top four at 26:32.2.
  • As a team, Valpo finished eighth of 11 with 217 points, checking in ahead of Murray State, UNI and Evansville. Drake took the team title, with Southern Illinois’ Ethan Senti earning individual championship honors.

Up Next

The team will compete in the NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Friday, Nov. 10 in Madison, Wis.