UE track and field gears up for MVC’s at Billy Hayes Invitational

The Purple Aces race in their final regular season meet of the outdoor season
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The University of Evansville track and field team will wrap up its regular season on Friday up I-69 in the Billy Hayes Invitational.
The Purple Aces head into their final tune-up before the MVC Outdoor Championships this Friday starting at 11 a.m. Throughout six meets during the outdoor season, UE has set 14 new program records along with dozens of PRs from its young roster. Almost two-thirds of Evansville’s roster during the outdoor season are student-athletes in their first year of collegiate athletics, including standouts Nicole Prauchner (Neuhofen an der Ybbs, Austria), Eilén Brenne (Skein, Norway), Rafael Rodriguez (Segovia, Spain), and Samuel Lea (Worchester, England).
In their final meet of the regular season, the Aces will look to break a few more program records as they did last weekend. At the Rick Erdmann Twilight meet last Saturday, UE set four new program records including Brenne in the 800-meter race and in the 1500-meter race. Brenne set a PR of 2:10.67 in the 800-meter while Prauchner finished the 1500 in 4:30.16. Lea reset his program record in the men’s 5000-meter race at 14:58.99 for a seventh-place finish. While Evansville’s final program record in Kentucky came in the field from junior thrower Kaitlyn Sansone (Fairfield, Ohio / Mercy McAuley HS). Sansone improved her women’s javelin record by over a meter with a throw of 32.36 meters for second place in the event.
It was a standout meet for the Aces as along with four new program records, UE also had 12 separate podium finishes across 21 events. With those podium finishes, Evansville had five athletes take the top spot in three track events and two field events. Freshman sprinter Raymond Felton III (Houston / Clear Brook HS) ran an outdoor season-best 10.74 seconds in the men’s 100-meter dash to take the gold.
The Aces two other first-place finishes on the track came in the men’s and women’s hurdles. In the women’s 100-meter hurdles, sophomore Kate Walke (Batesville, Ind. / Oldenburg Academy) was half a second shy of her program record, finishing the event in 16.07 seconds for the top spot. While freshman Woody Burrell (Cedarburg, Wis. / Cedarburg HS) took first in the men’s 400-meter hurdles at 57.60 seconds.
In the field, UE earned first-place finishes in the men’s discus and the men’s hammer throw events. Graduate throwers Jaden Hayes (Huntingburg, Ind. / Southridge HS) and Zach Dove (Princeton, Ind. / Princeton Community HS) had the best throws of the day in the two events at 48.77 meters in the discus throw for Hayes and 50.87 meters in the hammer throw for Dove.
On Friday, Evansville will begin its day at 11 a.m. with the women’s hammer throw and the men’s javelin throw. The Aces runners will hit the track at 3 p.m. with the women’s 100-meter hurdles preliminary heats.