Aces track and field ends the season at the Billy Hayes Invitational

The Purple Aces earned three top-five finishes during Friday’s meet
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The University of Evansville track and field team ended the outdoor regular season with three more program records.
On Friday the Purple Aces reset two records and broke a third at the Billy Hayes Invitational hosted by the Indiana Hoosiers. The first record set was the men’s hammer throw by graduate thrower Zach Dove (Princeton, Ind. / Princeton Community HS). After teammate Jaden Hayes (Huntingburg, Ind. / Southridge HS) set the record earlier in the season, Dove took back the top spot with a throw of 52.90 meters for 13th in the event. Hayes finished the event in 14th with a throw of 50.20 meters while freshman Cole Johnson (Salem, Ill. / Salem Community HS) had a throw of 35.26 meters.
UE’s other program record that was reset in the 2024 outdoor season came from freshman sprinter Taylor Johnson (Evansville, Ind. / Reitz HS). She became the third runner this season to set a new 400-meter dash program record with a time of 57.70 seconds for sixth place. Teammate Eilen Brenne (Skien, Norway) finished 17th in the event with a time of 59.71 seconds.
Evansville’s only completely new 2024 outdoor season record of the day came from freshman Rafael Rodriguez (Segovia, Spain) in the men’s 800-meter. Rodriguez broke the 2018 record set by Stanley Chepchieng by over a second with a time of 1:52.39 for a fifth-place finish. The Aces also had top 15 placements for freshman Tommaso Losma (Lombardia, Italy) and junior Adam Oulgout (St. Paul, Minn. / Central HS) with times of 1:54.19 and 1:54.35 for 12th and 14th.
UE’s best placement was from freshman mid-distance runner Nicole Prauchner (Neuhofen an der Ybbs, Austria) in the women’s 800-meter. Prauchner adds another podium finish to her early collegiate career taking third in the event finishing in 2:11.49. Evansville also added another top 10 finish in the event from Kalina Urbaniak (Suchy Las, Poland) with a PR of 2:14.12.
The Aces began their day at the Billy Hayes Invitational in the field as junior Preston Riggs (Ft. Branch, Ind. / Gibson Southern HS) placed eighth in the men’s javelin throw with a throw of 45.33 meters. Also, in the field for UE on the men’s side, Hayes and Dove placed 15th and 16th in the shot put with throws of 14.74 and 14.70 meters.
On the women’s side of the field sophomore Gwen Darrah (Cleveland, Ohio / Orange HS) placed 15th in the women’s hammer throw with a PR of 41.84 meters. Senior Hannah Bryant (Evansville, Ind. / Reitz HS) also placed in the event with a throw of 37.04 meters. In the women’s javelin junior Kaitlyn Sansone (Fairfield, Ohio / Mercy McAuley HS) and Bryan earned ninth and 11th place with throws of 28.87 meters and 25.33 meters respectively. Senior thrower Brooke Springer (Henderson, Ky. / Henderson Community HS) set a PR in the women’s discus with a throw of 35.02 meters, while freshman Jillian Miller (Boonville, Ind. / Boonville HS) was the only Ace to throw in the women’s shot put with a throw of 9.20 meters.
On the track, freshman sprinter Raymond Felton III had two Top 10 finishes for Evansville in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes. Felton’s best finish was seventh in the 200-meter dash at 21.73 seconds, while taking 10th in the 100-meter dash at 10.85 seconds. Sophomore José Ocampo (Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico) also ran both events with a 15th finish in the 200-meter dash in 22.55 seconds. The Aces only distance placement of the day came from freshman Samuel Lea (Worchester, England) in the 1500-meter race finishing 11th with a time of 3:56.63.
Sophomore Kate Walke (Batesville, Ind. / Oldenburg Academy) and freshman Woody Burrell (Cedarburg, Wis. / Cedarburg HS) were UE’s two hurdle runners in Bloomington. Walke finished 12th in the women’s 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.72 seconds. While Burrell finished 17th in the men’s 400-meter hurdles with a time of 58.41 seconds.
Evansville also ran two relays on Saturday in the men’s 4×100 relay and the men’s 4×400 relay. The Aces best finish came in the 4×400 meter relay with a time of 3:23.07 for fourth place. While the 4×100 relay team placed sixth with a season-best time of 43.44 seconds.
UE will head to Terre Haute next weekend for the MVC Outdoor Championship hosted by Indiana State. Evansville looks to improve on its 10th place finishes from the Indoor Championships in February. The MVC Outdoor Championships are set for Friday, May 10 through Sunday, May 12.