The Valparaiso University men’s and women’s cross country programs concluded their seasons on Friday at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, hosted at Angel Mounds Cross Country Course in Evansville, Ind. This marked the final meet of Mike Straubel’s 35-year run as the head coach of the programs, as Straubel has announced his retirement. The Beacons were led by junior Eric Carothers (Fishers, Ind. / Hamilton Southeastern), who cracked the program record book in the men’s 10K race.
How It Happened
- Carothers paced the Valpo men with a time of 32:38.4, which marked the third-best 10K time in program history. He outdid Nate Iben’s 1995 time of 32:39 for third. His time is behind only Alexander Bruno (2018) and Aaron Crague (2001).
- With the addition of Carothers, half of the top 10 in program history in the 10K has come over the last three NCAA Regional meets (2018, 2019 and 2021).
- In the women’s 6K, Grace Aurand (Highland, Ind. / Highland) paced the Beacons with a 22:58.2. She eclipsed her previous season-best in the 6K, which was 23:08.8 at the Redbird Invitational on Sept. 17. Her time on Friday was 11 seconds away from cracking Valpo’s all-time top 10.
- On the men’s side, Carothers was followed by Simeon Ehm (Castle Rock, Colo/ Heritage), who crossed the finish in 33:37.2. Evan Walda (Fort Wayne, Ind. / South Side) at 33:51.6 and Nathan Izewski (Palatine, Ill. / Palatine) at 35:12 rounded out the team’s top four.
- In the women’s race, Aurand was followed by Maranda Donahue (Delton, Mich. / Delton-Kellogg), who completed the course in 23:52.4. Joely Overstreet (Genoa, Ill. / Genoa-Kingston) was close behind at 23:56.8, which represented her season best in the 6K.
The Valpo indoor track & field season will begin in early December.