The Valparaiso University track and field teams started the outdoor season this weekend, splitting the squads between the Bill Cornell Spring Classic at Southern Illinois and the Polar Bear Invitational at Indiana Wesleyan. The squads were led by Julia Rustmann (Grosse Pointe, Mich./Grosse Point North (Michigan State), who set a personal best, and Dominic Paoletti (Monroe, Mich./Monroe St. Mary), who had a first-place finish, in the outdoor opener.
How It Happened
- In her first outdoor competition with Valpo, Rustmann set a career best in the 800-meter run, finishing 11th with a time of 2:21.61. Paoletti won the 5K race, with a time of 15:11.60 and finished nearly seven seconds ahead of second place.
- In addition to Paoletti, Valpo had nine men compete in the 1500-meter race. Senior Jake Mader (Granger, Ind./Penn) recorded a top-10 finish, with his career-best time of 3:59.05 in the race, good for eighth place. Connor Hickey (Peru, Ill./LaSalle-Peru) set his career best in the race, coming across at 4:03.75. Ronald Black (O’Fallon, Ill./O’Fallon) finished in 4:08.02, just ahead of freshman teammate Ignacio Veloz Bonilla (San Juan, P.R./American Military Academy), who came in at 4:08.10.
- Hickey also competed in the 800-meter run, finishing in 1:57.06 - good for 10th.
- In the hammer throw, Hayley Krulik (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) out-threw her previous personal best by over two meters, hitting 129-9 (39.54m).
- Ben Sekuloski (Lowell, Ind./Lowell) started the outdoor season with a third-place finish in the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.10.
- Katherine Germann (Cincinatti, Ohio/Finneytown) finished third in the 5K run with a time of 18:47.10.
- Senior Jake Rasewehr (Celina, Ohio/Celina) finished fourth in the men’s discus, recording a mark of 148-9 (45.33m).
- Taylor Justinson (Catham, Ill./Glenwood) set a career best time in the 1500-meter run, coming across the line at 4:58.54.
- Lauren Mikolajczak (Bloomingdale, Ill./Montini Catholic) led the Valpo women in the shot put, nearing her career best with 35-3 (10.74m).
Thoughts from Head Coach Ryan Moore
“After a few weeks off, this was a great start to the outdoor season. The weather cooperated both days, allowing our teams to start off on the right foot. We still have plenty of work to do over the next eight weeks, but getting a solid meet in this early in the season is never a given when you’re in the Midwest.”
“We are looking forward to a week off in between meets and the time to really work on some specific things that will improve performances for the remainder of the season.”
Valpo will be back in action in two week, competing at Indiana State on Saturday, April 6.