Eric Carothers (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) provided the highlight of the day as the Valparaiso University men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Evansville, Ind. to compete in the Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Championships on Wednesday.
Carothers led Valpo with a 10th-place finish, helping the sophomore earn first team all-conference and win the Elite 17 Award. The Elite 17 honor for men’s cross country goes to the individual with highest GPA among Top-10 finishers. Carothers became the first Valpo student-athlete in any sport to earn the Valley’s prestigious Elite 17 Award.
How It Happened
- Carothers led the Valpo men with a time of 25:31.4 in the 8K. His efforts earned him a 10th-place finish as well as first-team all-conference. This marks the third straight year the program has boasted a first-team all-conference winner after Alexander Bruno achieved first-team status each of the last two years.
- The 25:31.4 time marked a personal best for Carothers, whose previous top time was 26:38.4 at the Bradley Pink Classic on Oct. 18, 2019.
- Ignacio Veloz Bonilla (San Juan, P.R./American Military Academy) recorded a 23rd-place finish as the junior crossed the finish line in 26.17.9. Freshman Evan Walda (Fort Wayne, Ind./South Side) finished right behind the junior as he was the third Valpo runner to finish in the top 25 at 26:23.2, placing 24th.
- Jack Worman (Hanover Parks, Ill./Hoffman Estates) clocked a 27:19.0 to place 31st overall in the event. Freshman Simeon Ehm (Castle Rock, Colo./Heritage) finished 37th at 27.57.3.
- Alaina Carpenter (Grandville, Mich./ Grandville) was Valpo’s lead finisher in the women’s race as the junior finished the 5K with a time of 19:18.2, good for 31st place.
- Freshman Grace Aurand (Highland, Ind./Highland) was right behind Valpo’s lead runner as she clocked a 19:23.4 to place 34th.
- Maranda Donahue (Delton, Mich./ Delton-Kellogg) was Valpo’s next finisher as she placed 42nd with a final time of 20:13.2. Right behind her was teammate Joely Overstreet (Genoa, Ill./Genoa-Kingston), crossing the finish line at 20:23.1 to place 43rd overall.
- Freshman Kaitlyn Leady (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton) competed in her first MVC Championship and finished in 20:37.8, good for 46th overall.