Home Local Sports Trailblazer throwers shine at Jim Vargo Invitational

Trailblazer throwers shine at Jim Vargo Invitational


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Vincennes University men’s and women’s Track and Field teams were back in action Friday at the 2024 Jim Vargo Invitational hosted by Bellarmine University in Louisville.

The VU throwers stole the show for the Blue and Gold at Friday’s meet, led by sophomore Madison Davis who had the best finish of the meet by taking second place in the shot put with a throw of 12.17 meters.

Davis also completed the daily double by taking 15th overall in the discus with a best throw of 31.13 meters.

On the men’s side, sophomore and Indoor Heptathlon National Champion Olegs Kozjakovs led the way in the discus with a throw of 46.26 meters to take fifth.

Kozjakovs would also place in the top-10 in the shot put in a field of several NCAA Division I throwers, placing seventh with a throw of 14.21 meters.

Freshmen Jeremiah Ziebart and Jacob Wickman followed Kozjakovs in the discus throw with Ziebart posting a best throw of 43.86 meters for seventh and Wickman taking 16th with a throw of 35.52 meters.

Wickman also completed the daily double by taking 14th overall in the hammer throw with a throw of 37.19 meters.

“We had a really good meet with those that competed,” VU Head Track and Field Coach Marty Rogier said. “I pulled our sprinters and vaulters because of the cold conditions. I thought the risk of getting someone hurt outweighed any rewards. We are hoping for some big things with this group at the National level and we need everyone healthy to reach those goals.”

“Our throw group performed well and scored the majority of our points,” Rogier added. “Jeremiah and Olegs had some very good throws in the discus. They look like they have some big throws coming. Madison had a good series of throws and our highest finish of the day with a second place finish.”

Friday was also a big day for several of VU’s runners as well, led by freshman Emilly Barbosa (Sao Paulo, Brazil) who placed seventh in the 800 meters with a final time of 2:17.77.

Freshmen Adi Fuller (Evansville, Ind.), Jasmyn Self (Casey, Ill.) and Grayson Haynes (Sebree, Ky.) also posted some good times in a very competitive field of Division I runners.

Fuller took 20th with a time of 2:26.86, Self placed 30th at 2:34.99 and Haynes came in 39th overall with a final time of 2:50.53.

Adi Fuller also took part in the 1500 meter race, placing 32nd at 5:04.57 and Barbosa, Self and Haynes teamed up with freshman Zinzile Gumpo to place 10h in the 4×400 relay with a time of 4:37.63.

Gumpo hit the track again to post a time of 15.86 seconds in the 100 meter hurdles, good for 10th overall.

The VU men’s runners were led by the 4×400 relay team of freshmen Tanner Spence (Carmi, Ill.), Brahym Sakka (Tunisia), Alex Kwizera (Indianapolis, Ind.) and sophomore Matthew Gray (Washington, Ind.) who combined to take eighth with a time of 3:40.93.

Individually, Sakka led the way competing in three events on the day, posting a time of 1:58.89 in the 800 meters and a time of 4:04.08 in the 1500 meters, taking 25th and 18th in the respective events.

Matthew Gray and Tanner Spence followed Sakka in the 800 meters with Gray posting a time of 2:00.27 for 30th and Spence coming in at 2:01.69 for 36th.

Freshman Max Pendley (French Lick, Ind.) rounded out the VU finishers in the 800 meters with a time of 2:11.13 for 52nd overall.

In the 1500, Sakka was followed by Alex Kwizera who crossed the line with a time of 4:38.69 for 59th overall.

The Trailblazers continued to post good times on the track with sophomore Isaac Stanford (Flora, Ill.) taking 11th in the 5000 meters with a time of 15:05.96.