The Valparaiso University track & field program finished up its final competition prior to the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships on Saturday, the final day of the GVSU Big Meet, hosted by Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich. It was a prosperous day for a number of Beacons as multiple individuals hit new peaks by achieving personal bests.
How It Happened
- Numerous athletes enjoyed personal records in the track events, with Maranda Donahue (Delton, Mich. / Delton-Kellogg) achieving a top-10 finish in a 42-athlete field. Her new PR in the indoor 800 of 2:20.19 helped her cross the line ninth in that event.
- Among the other women who boasted new personal bests on Saturday were Marion Isaac (Evergreen Park, Ill. / Evergreen Park) and Isabella Smith (Chesterton, Ind. / Chesterton). Isaac sped to a 60-meter dash time of 8.32 seconds to finish in the top half of a field that featured over 50 competitors. Smith stopped the clock in 1:01.42 in the 400 to finish 35th of 61.
- Several Valpo men established new PRs in the running events as well, including Joseph Scheele (Mahomet, Ill. / Mahomet-Seymour) and Justin Johnson. Scheele led the team with a 3000-time of 8:49.05 to finish 20th of 55, while Johnson finished the 60 hurdles in 9.37 seconds.
- In the men’s 200, Lukas Sepulveda (Camano Island, Wash. / Stanwood) garnered a PR of his own with a time of 22.73 seconds, placing 14th of 39.
- In the men’s 60, it was Sepulveda finishing 26th of 50 in 7.29 seconds. Elsewhere on the track, Anthony Vassolo (Tinley Park, Ill. / Andrew) was in the top half of the 400-field, placing 16th of 34 with a time of 51.77.
- In both the men’s and women’s weight throw, the individual who led the team obtained a new personal best. Jeremiah Johnson (Zion, Ill. / Benton) garnered a top-10 finish on the men’s side at 15.88m (51-2), while Tori Gerhardt (Westville, Ind. / Chesterton) boasted a top-5 performance on the women’s side at 16.01m (52-6). Johnson was ninth of 32, while Gerhardt was fifth of 32.
- Gerhardt added to her day with a shot-put PR of 11.34m (37-2.5) to lead the team and finish 21st of 41.
- Johnson also led the squad in the shot put with a mark of 13.6m (43-2), placing 19th of 37.
- Another top-5 finish in the field events came in the men’s high jump, where Micah Mullings (Minesing, Ontario, Canada / Barrie North) continued his strong season by placing fifth with a height of 1.88m (6-2).
- Elsewhere in the jumps, Gavin Schaefer (Lake Saint Louis, Mo. / Timberland) led the Valpo men in both the long jump and triple jump. His LJ of 5.91m (19-4.75) placed 15th of 26, while his TJ of 11.94m (39-2) was seventh. In the women’s long jump, Rhena Kiger (Crown Point, Ind. / Crown Point) had a team-high 4.80m (15-9), placing 17th of 33.
The Beacons will co-host the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships at Gately Complex in Chicago on Sunday, Feb. 26 and Monday, Feb. 27. The event will feature a live broadcast on ESPN+.