The Valparaiso University track & field and cross country teams were in action this weekend, tuning up for their respective conference championships. Valpo received numerous standout performances on Saturday as the distance runners participated in the GVSU Big Meet hosted by Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., while the remainder of the squad made its way to Terre Haute, Ind. for the Indiana State Invitational.
How It Happened – GVSU Big Meet
- The team’s performance in the men’s 3000-meter run marked a highlight for the Brown & Gold, who placed three in the Top 10 and four in the Top 11. Senior Dominic Paoletti (Monroe, Mich. / Monroe St. Mary) was at the forefront of that group with a personal-record 8:27.28 to place sixth. He bettered his previous PR of 8:28.15 that already ranked fourth in program history.
- Paoletti was followed by a pair of fellow Top-10 finishers as teammates Ignacio Veloz Bonilla (San Juan, P.R. / American Military Academy) and Eric Carothers (Fishers, Ind. / Hamilton Southeastern) crossed the line ninth (8:43.65) and 10th (8:44.70) respectively. In addition, freshman Evan Walda (Fort Wayne, Ind. / South Side) clocked in at 8.44.94 to place 11th. Paoletti, Carothers and Walda all achieved PRs in the event.
- Senior Joey Black (O’Fallon, Ill. / O’Fallon) led Valpo in the 800m with a 15th-place time of 2:02.87.
- On the women’s side, Alaina Carpenter (Granville, Mich. / Grandville) recorded a Top-10 finish in the 3000 at 10:48.84 (ninth), while freshman Grace Aurand (Highland, Ind. / Highland) did so in the mile at 5:17.48 (10th). In addition, Maranda Donahue (Delton, Mich. / Delton-Kellogg) paced the team in the 800 at 2:36.98 (11th) and Joely Overstreet (Genoa, Ill. / Genoa-Kingston) topped the squad with a 10:54.66 (11th).
How It Happened – Indiana State Invitational
- Eddie Juszczak (Lowell, Ind. / Lowell) boasted the team’s highest finish by placing third in the weight throw at 16.75m (54-11.5).
- In the women’s shot put, Hayley Krulik (Crown Point, Ind. / Crown Point) paced the team with a personal-best heave of 11.05m (36-3).
- Another strong throw came courtesy of Jeremiah Johnson (Zion, Ill. / Benton) as the rookie recorded a 13.86m (45-5.75) to grab a Top-5 position in the men’s shot put.
- In the jumps, Will Maidment (Woodstock, Ill. / Woodstock) led the way with a fifth-place high jump of 1.90m (6-2.75).
- In the sprints, it was Emanuel Daggett (Chicago, Ill. / Gavit) topping the squad as he crossed the finish line in 51.25 in the 400m to place fourth while also pacing the Brown & Gold in the 200m at 23.27 (11th).
- Michelle Pierce (Indianapolis, Ind. / Heritage Christian) again led the team in the women’s weight throw at 15.59m (51-1.75).
The Missouri Valley Conference Championships are on the horizon for both the distance runners and the remaining student-athletes. Valpo will compete in the MVC Indoor Track & Field Championships on Feb. 26-28 in Cedar Falls, Iowa while also partaking in the MVC Cross Country Championships on Wednesday, March 3 in Evansville, Ind.