The Valparaiso University track & field teams reported to the University of Northern Iowa on Saturday for the start of the 2018-2019 Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships. Day 1 of the two-day event was highlighted by sophomore Carli Sowonik (Hebron, Ind./Hebron) and her fifth-place finish in the women’s pole vault.
How It Happened
- Sowonik cleared her previous season best with a height of 11-10 (3.61m) and earned four points for the Valpo squad.
- Dominic Paoletti (Monroe, Mich./Monroe St. Mary) made huge strides Saturday when he set a new personal best in the 5000-meter run by more than 12 seconds. The sophomore recorded a time of 15:02.02, finished ninth in the event and overtook Valpo’s top spot in the event this season. Jack Mader (Granger, Ind./Penn) also ran in the event and recorded a time of 15:17.54.
- Taylor Allen (Zionsville, Ind./ Zionsville) was one of three Valpo athletes to set a season best in the 60-meter dash. Allen set a personal record, finishing in 7.21. He now has the fastest time on the team this season.
- In the men’s weight throw, Jake Rasawehr (Celina, Ohio/Celina) set a season best with a mark of 53-11 (16.43m). Eddie Juszczak (Lowell, Ind./Lowell) and Alek Trafton (Lockport, Ill./Lockport) also set personal bests with marks of 46-5¼ (14.15m) and 42-8¼ (13.01m).
- The women also had several season bests set in the weight throw. Hayley Krulik (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) led the way with a mark of 48-11 (14.91m), while Maria Greer (Chicago, Ill./Williams Medical Prep) and Charlotte LaFleur (Chicago, Ill./Luther North/Walther Christian Academy) also set new season watermarks.
- TJ Weinzimmer (Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook North) led the way for Valpo in the long jump with a distance of 21-11½ (6.69m). That mark established a career best and beat his previous record (20-6) by over a foot. Aaron Clark Jr. (South Holland, Ill./Thornwood) set a season best himself in the event with a jump of 21-9 (6.63m). Malik Riley (Romeoville, Ill./Romeoville) rounded out the Valpo trio with a mark of 21-5¼ (6.53m).
- The men’s distance medley team – consisting of Jack Worman (Hanover Parks, Ill./Hoffman Estates), Ben Sekuloski (Lowell, Ind./Lowell), Ignacio Veloz Bonilla (San Juan, P.R./American Military Academy) and Joey Black (O’Fallon, Ill./O’Fallon) – finished fifth with a time of 10:20.99.
- In the women’s 60-meter dash, Aaliyah Strickland (Chicago, Ill./Westinghouse College Prep) and Jordan Houlihan (Hickory Hills, Ill./Amos Alonzo Stagg) also set season-best times, coming in at 8.23 and 8.64 respectively.
- Alaina Carpenter (Grandville, Mich./Grandville) led Valpo in the 800-meter dash, finishing at 2:28.22. She cut more than two seconds off her previous time to set a new personal best in the event. Miranda Donahue (Delton, Mich./Delton-Kellogg) also ran in the event, coming across at 2:35.26.
Valpo will wrap-up the indoor portion of the schedule with the second and final day of the conference championships on Sunday in Cedar Falls. Day 2 of competition will once again be streamed on ESPN3 with links to live video and results available on ValpoAthletics.com.