The Valparaiso University track & field teams concluded their first outdoor meet of the season, the Bill Cornell Invite, on Saturday in Carbondale, Ill. Distance runner Dominic Paoletti (Monroe, Mich./Monroe St. Mary) collected a first-place finish in the 5000-meter run, while senior thrower Lauren Mikolajczak (Bloomingdale, Ill./Montini Catholic) climbed to third in program history in the hammer.
How It Happened
- Paoletti won the 5000 as the senior clocked an outdoor personal record of 14:52.09. He bested his previous mark of 14:55.12 from the 2019 campaign and remains fourth in program history in the event. The victory came in a 26-runner field. He narrowly outraced Eastern Illinois’ Andrew Pilat, who finished second at 14:53.44. Paoletti’s time was the fastest outdoor 5,000 by a Valpo runner since 2003 (Aaron Crague).
- Mikolajczak advanced two places in the program record book thanks to her performance in the hammer throw. She outdid her previous career best of 151-2 by turning in a heave of 167-10 to place eighth in the event. In the process, the senior jumped two spots and is now third in Valpo history in that event. Her hammer throw on Saturday was the program’s longest since Sarah Drozdowski’s record-setting mark of 187-9 in 2015.
- Ignacio Veloz Bonilla (San Juan, P.R./American Military Academy) had a pair of top-three finishes as he placed second in the 1500 with a time of 3:57.92. The junior also had a third-place finish in the 800m as he clocked a 1:56.44. His second-place finish came in a 19-runner field and his third occurred among a field of 22 competitors. Both of his times were outdoor career bests. Veloz Bonilla’s 1500 was less than three seconds away from cracking the program’s all-time top-5 (3:55.1), while his 800 also just missed a spot in the program record book (fifth is 1:54.3).
- Competing in her first collegiate outdoor meet, Grace Aurand (Highland, Ind./Highland) finished sixth in the 1500m run in 4:49.75. She also finished 11th in the 800 at 2:24.74.
- Peyton Weber (Germantown, Wis./Kettle Moraine Lutheran) had a seventh-place finish in the long jump covering a distance of 5.16m (16-11.25).
- Jared Humphrey (Hobart, Ind./Andrean) placed fifth in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 58.80. He also placed 10th in the long jump with a height of 5.66m (18-7).
- Evan Walda (Fort Wayne, Ind./South Side) recorded a fifth-place finish out of 19 runners in the 1500, finishing in 4:03.88.
- Sophomore Brady Southern (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) placed fourth in the 3000m steeplechase as he finished at 10:52.31.
- Eddie Juszczak (Lowell, Ind./Lowell) recorded a seventh-place finish in the hammer as he had a 47.48 (155-9). Joey Black (O’Fallon, Ill./O’Fallon) clocked a 2:01.36 time in the 800 to place seventh in the event.
- Isaiah Daggett (Chicago, Ill./Gavit) placed eighth in the long jump, covering a distance of 5.73m (18-9.75).
- Claire Kovarik (Downers Grove, Ill/Downers Grove North) placed fifth in the 3000m steeplechase in 13:43.59.
- Joely Overstreet (Genoa, Ill./Genoa-Kingston) placed sixth in the 5000m run with a time of 19:08.15. Right behind her was teammate Alaina Carpenter (Grandville, Mich./Grandville) as the junior finished in 19:15.15 to place seventh.
- Michelle Pierce (Indianapolis, Ind./Heritage Christian) covered 10.88 (35-8.50) in the shot put to place 12th and lead the team in that event.
Valpo will return to action on Friday, March 26 for a dual meet against Loyola beginning at 10 a.m. at Warren G. Hoger Track.