The Valparaiso University track & field team began the 2022-2023 indoor season on Friday night by competing against quality competition at the Blue & Gold Invitational hosted by the University of Notre Dame. Numerous veteran Beacons had personal records, while the freshman class was well represented with countless rookies turning in strong performances.
How It Happened
- In the jumps, freshman Micah Mullings (Minesing, Ontario, Canada / Barrie North) made his collegiate debut and turned in heights of 1.90m (6-2.75) and 13.37m (43-10.5) in the high jump and triple jump, respectively. He was fourth in the high jump and earned a runner-up finish in the triple jump at 13.37m (43-10.5).
- In the distance events, Maranda Donahue stopped the clock in a PR time of 5:13.74 in the one-mile run to place sixth. The team’s top performer on the men’s side was freshman Andrew Kerlin (Chicago, Ill. / Marist), who finished as the runner-up with a time of 4:35.57.
- A pair of Beacons finished in the top eight in the women’s weight throw. Tori Gerhardt (Westville, Ind. / Chesterton) turned in a personal record of 14.97m (49-1.5) to take seventh, followed by teammate Lena Luebbering (Heyworth, Ill. / Heyworth), who was eighth at 14.83m (48-8), also establishing a PR.
- In the men’s weight throw, Will Rinker (Valparaiso, Ind. / Chesterton) topped the team with a PR of 15.86 (52-0.5) to finish eighth, edging teammate Jeremiah Johnson (Zion, Ill. / Benton), who was ninth at 15.46m (50-8.75).
- In the men’s pole vault, freshman Thaddeus Malatlian (Pfafftown, N.C. / Reagan) had a 4.15m (13-7.25) in his collegiate debut. Valpo’s highest women’s pole vault also came from a rookie as Rhena Kiger (Crown Point, Ind. / Crown Point) finished fifth at 3.05m (10-0).
- In the men’s 200, freshman Anthony Vassolo (Tinley Park, Ill. / Andrew) led the way and was just outside the top 10 with an 11th-place time of 23.20.
- In the 3,000-meter run, Joelyn Overstreet (Genoa, Ill. / Genoa-Kingston) topped a tight pack of three Beacons with a seventh-place finish of 11:16.60.
Thoughts from Interim Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Vincent Walker
“Today was a great way to start the indoor season. We had a lot of PRs across the board in every event area. This really set the tone for what is to come for the rest of the season.”
After the team’s lone early-season competition on Friday, Valpo’s next meet will be on Saturday, Jan. 21 as the Beacons once again make the short trip east for the Notre Dame Invitational.