Junior Eric Carothers (Fishers, Ind. / Hamilton Southeastern) clocked a top-5 time in program history on Friday evening to lead the way for the Valparaiso University cross country team at the Illinois State Invite, hosted at Weibring Golf Club in Normal, Ill. Carothers finished the 8K in 25:04.4 to lead the Beacons.
How It Happened
- Carothers’ time helped him garner a 16th-place finish in a competitive field of 116 runners. In addition, he now holds the fourth-fastest 8K time in program history. Since 2001, program recordholder Alexander Bruno (24:23) is the only Valpo runner who has completed a faster 8K than Carothers’ 25:04.4.
- In the women’s race, Valpo was led by Grace Aurand (Highland, Ind. / Highland), who finished the 6K in 23:08.8. Aurand placed in the top half of a competitive, 144-runner field.
- The next Beacon to cross the finish line in the women’s race was Alaina Carpenter (Grandville, Mich. / Grandville) at 23:45.5. Carpenter was at the front of a tight Valpo pack that also included Maranda Donahue (Delton, Mich. / Delton-Kellog) at 23:53.0 and Brianna Splaine (Sussex, Wis. / Arrowhead) at 23:53.2.
- In the men’s race, the second Valpo runner to reach the finish was Ignacio Veloz Bonilla (San Juan, P.R. / American Military Academy), who clocked a 25:34.5. Evan Walda (Fort Wayne, Ind. / South Side) at 26:01.6 and Simeon Ehm (Castle Rock, Colo. / Heritage) at 26:06.6 also placed in the top half of the race.
- Illinois won the team title for both men’s and women’s. In the men’s race, the Beacons were narrowly behind Missouri Valley Conference foe UNI and outdid fellow MVC member Southern Illinois. The men also finished ahead of SEMO and SIUE, as did the Valpo women in their race.
Valpo will return to the course on Friday, Oct. 1 for the Joe Piane Invitational at the University of Notre Dame.