Indoor track and field begins its season at Jack Pyrah Invitational

Sean Stetson

Over the weekend, the Villanova indoor track and field team hosted the Jack Pyrah Invitational at the Haverford College Alumni Field House to open the season. This invitational had plenty Big East Championship implications, as several athletes were able to qualify. In the invitational, the Wildcats competed in 27 of the 31 events and had a very solid and complete outing.

For the women, sophomore Christie Verdier set the tone by breaking the 300-meter dash record with her time of 39.63 and finishing first in the 55-meter dash. Sophomore Shericka Ward continued the trend and broke the 55-meter hurdle record with her amazing time of 7.89 and finished fourth in the 300-meter dash.

Sophomore Ashley Dunbar competed in the 55-meter dash and the 300-meter dash as well, in which she finished seventh and eighth, respectively. Freshman Leah Ray also competed in these two events and finished eighth and fifteenth, respectively. Junior Jessona McDonald finished fifth in the 300-meter dash.

For the 500-meter Dash, junior Kristen Mahon finished in first place with a time of 1:15.94. Senior Makalia Griffith, the current record holder, also competed in the event and finished third with a time of 1:16.97.

In the 1000-meter run, ‘Nova had three participants in the event. Freshman Ariann Neutts shattered the record and finished first with a time of 2:53.69. Freshmen Shannon Browne and Anna Francis finished second and fifth in the event, respectively.

For the women’s 4×400 relay, the ‘A’ team of Verdier, Griffith, Mahon and McDonald broke the record for the event with a collective time of 3:50.96. The ‘B’ team of Browne, Francis, Neutts and Ward performed solidly as well, placing fifth.

On the men’s side, no records were broken, but there were great performances all around. To start off, freshman Nicoy Hines and sophomore Stefan Goodridge finished second and third, respectively, in the 55-meter hurdles. Hines and Goodridge also competed in the 300-meter dash in which they finished 13th and 19th, respectively.

In the 500-meter dash, ‘Nova had a great showing with senior Garrett Kroner winning the event and junior Michael Murray finishing a close third with times of 1:06.36 and 1:07.90, respectively.

Perhaps the most impressive performance by the Wildcats was senior Michael Lynch’s first place finish in the 55-meter dash with an impressive time of 6.50.

As for the men’s 4×400 relay, the ‘A’ squad of junior Christopher Kearney, Kroner, Goodridge and Murray finished first with a time of 3:23.66. The ‘B’ team of freshmen Carlton Bowers, Andrew Burt, Hines and Leo Gorgens finished third.

As for the Big East Championship qualifiers; junior Chris Williams competed in the mile run and finished first with a time of 4:18.48 to qualify. Freshman Curran Darling tied a meet record in the high jump clearing 2.00 meters, finishing first. Junior Robert Sainvil finished first in the triple jump, earning a spot as well.