The Valparaiso University track & field team closed out the Illini Invitational on Saturday in Champaign, Ill. with a pair of standout performances on the track, one in the sprints and one in a mid-distance event. Nehemiah Ray (Chicago, Ill. / Brother Rice) turned in the second-best men’s outdoor 100-meter dash in program history, while Ignacio Veloz Bonilla (San Juan, P.R. / American Military Academy) was the runner-up in the 800. Several Valpo athletes established new personal bests on Saturday.
How It Happened
- It was another strong day for Nehemiah Ray (Chicago, Ill. / Brother Rice), who clocked a 10.54 to crack the top 10 in the men’s 100. He finished eighth of 37 and smashed a PR in the process. He turned in the second-best 100 time in program history, behind only the program record of 10.46 set by Julian Smith in 2012. Coincidentally, both Ray and Smith went to Brother Rice High School. Ray beat Sam Ingram’s 1986 time of 10.55 for second in program history.
- In the men’s 800, Ignacio Veloz Bonilla (San Juan, P.R. / American Military Academy) was the runner-up in a 23-competitor field. He clocked a 1:54.31, narrowly behind Bradley’s Will Smith (1:54.30) for the event win.
- In the women’s 100, Marion Isaac (Evergreen Park, Ill. / Evergreen Park) led the team at 13.66, establishing a new personal best.
- In the women’s mid-distance, Grace Aurand (Highland, Ind. / Highland) finished in the top 10 in the 800, coming in 10th at 2:21.83, a new PR. Maranda Donahue (Delton, Mich. / Delton-Kellogg) was close behind, crossing 12th at 2:22.76.
- In the men’s discus, two Beacons finished in the top 20 in a 32-athlete field. Jeremiah Johnson (Zion, Ill. / Benton) nabbed a 15th-place finish at 42.90 meters, while Eddie Juszczak (Lowell, Ind. / Lowell) covered 42.71m to finish 17th.
- A trio of Valpo throwers finished in succession in the women’s discus throw standings, led by Lena Luebbering (Heyworth, Ill. / Heyworth) with a heave of 32.56m.
- Tommy Palmer competed in the men’s shot put and delivered a 13.22m to lead the team.
Valpo will host a home meet on Saturday, April 30 at Warren G. Hoger Track.