The Valparaiso University track & field teams hosted the Valpo Invitational on Saturday afternoon at Warren G. Hoger Track, the program’s first home meet since 2018. Valpo boasted a plethora of first-place finishes, plus one student-athlete cracked the top 5 in program history in his event and another bettered his own top-5 placement. Milwaukee and Purdue Fort Wayne joined Valpo in the field of competing teams.
How it happened
After previously cracking the top 5 in program history earlier this season, TJ Weinzimmer (Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook North) bettered his own mark in the triple jump. He won the event with a personal record of 14.11m (46-3.5), a jump that ranks fifth in program history.
Another key first-place finish for the men came in the hammer throw with Eddie Juszczak (Lowell, Ind./Lowell) throwing for a distance of 53.49m (175-6), a new career best. He entered the top 5 in program history in that event, usurping the previous fifth-place toss of 174-5 by Isaiah Cook in 2015.
Brady Southern (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) picked up Valpo’s first win of the day in the 3000m steeple as the sophomore clocked a 10:20.47.
In the 1500m run, Valpo claimed the top three spots. Eric Carothers (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) placed first followed by Jack Worman (Hanover Parks, Ill./Hoffman Estates) and Evan Walda (Fort Wayne, Ind./ South Side). Carothers’ time of 3:58.44 narrowly missed the top 5 in program history.
Emanuel Daggett (Chicago, Ill. / Gavit) claimed an individual win in the 400m dash, clocking a 50.67.
Ignacio Veloz Bonilla (San Juan, P.R./American Military Academy) followed up with a victory of his own in the 800m run, finishing in 1:54.69, another mark that sits just outside Valpo’s all-time top 5.
Junior Jared Humphrey (Hobart, Ind./Andrean) had an impressive day, finishing first in the long jump with a distance of 6.55m. He also placed second in the 400m hurdles, crossing the finish line in 58.74.
Valpo claimed the top four spots in the 5000m run with Simeon Ehm (Castle Rock, Colo./Heritage) taking first at 16:16.96. Teammate Cameron Sheehy (DeMotte, Ind./ Kankakee Valley) placed second followed by teammates Joey Black (O’Fallon, Ill./O’Fallon) and Rylan Dreyer (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South).
Will Maidment (Woodstock, Ill./Woodstock) won the high jump, reaching a height of 1.95m.
Weinzimmer, Maidment, Nathan Wessel and Daggett placed second in the 4x100m relay to add points to Valpo’s team score.
Grace Aurand (Highland, Ind./Highland) led the women with a first-place finish in the 1500m run, finishing in 4:52.35. The freshman also placed third in the 800m run with a 2:24.84 time.
Joely Overstreet (Genoa, Ill./Genoa-Kingston) placed first in the 5000m run, clocking a 19:27.12 time to pick up the women’s second victory on the day.
In the hammer throw, Lauren Mikolajczak (Bloomingdale, Ill./Montini Catholic) won the event with a distance of 52.00m. Teammate Michelle Pierce (Indianapolis, Ind./Heritage Christian) placed second with a distance of 46.26m.
Maranda Donahue (Delton, Mich./Delton-Kellogg) picked up a second-place finish in the 800m run, clocking a 2:23.56 time.
Valpo men finished second with 228 points and the women also finished second with 128.
Valpo will return to action on Saturday, May 7 in the Pacesetter Sports Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind. That will mark the final meet prior to the MVC Outdoor Championships.