The Valparaiso University men’s and women’s track & field teams began the 2021-2022 indoor season on Friday as the Beacons made their way to Notre Dame, Ind. for the Blue & Gold Invitational. Several Valpo throwers had strong showings in the weight throw, while Nehemiah Ray (Chicago, Ill. / Brother Rice) enjoyed a solid collegiate debut in the sprints.
How It Happened
- Ray paced the Beacons in the 60, 200 and 400 in his first collegiate meet. He stopped the clock in 7.07 seconds in the 60-meter dash to pace four Beacons and place seventh in a competitive field of 26 runners.
- Ray also impressed in the 200 and 400, with times of 22.85 and 50.87, respectively. He finished 10th in the 200 and 13th in the 400.
- The men’s weight throw saw a trio of Beacons deliver heaves that were good enough for top-eight finishes. That group was paced by Alek Trafton (Lockport, Ill. / Lockport)¸ who uncorked a throw of 54-2 (16.51m) that represented an indoor personal record. Trafton earned a third-place finish in the event.
- Eddie Juszczak (Lowell, Ind. / Lowell) was the second Valpo athlete in the top five in the men’s weight throw, finishing fifth at 53-2.75 (16.22m), while Jeremiah Johnson (Zion, Ill. / Benton) nabbed eighth at 48-10 (14.90m), a new PR.
- In addition, Johnson led the squad in the shot put, finishing seventh with a mark of 38-9 (11.81m).
- The weight throw was also a prosperous event for Valpo on the women’s side, where Mackenzie Patten (Highland, Mich. / Milford) cleared her previous PR by four feet with a 46-7.5 (14.21m). That earned her an eighth-place finish in a 20-athlete field.
Valpo will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 15 at the GVSU Bob Eubanks Open in Allendale, Mich.