Track finishes season at NCAAs

Andrew Gordon

The men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams traveled to College Station, Texas, at Texas A&M University to compete in the 45th annual men’s and 27th annual women’s Division I Track and Field Championships on March 13 and 14.

Four individual participants, as well as the men’s distance medley relay team, traveled to Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium at the McFerrin Athletic Center for the two day competition to face the most elite competition from across the country. Each athlete met NCAA qualifying standards during the indoor regular season competition in order to earn the right to compete on Friday and Saturday.

Senior Frances Koons, an important part of the cross country team in the fall, worked diligently throughout the indoor season to earn the chance to compete in two individual events in the NCAA championships. On Friday evening, Koons ran in the 5,000-meter race along with sophomore Amanda Marino.

All of Koons’ hard work paid off as she ran a steady race and finished in second place. Her experience shined through as she saved her best for last, running her final 200 meters in a blistering 32.15 seconds. With this late kick, Koons positioned herself in front of her nearest competitors to sustain a second place finish in 15:58.92, just a half of a second ahead of the third and fourth place finishers.

In her first trip to the NCAA Indoor Championships, Marino also cracked the top 10, clocking in at 16:04.77 and setting an impressive new personal record. With this feat, Marino has already earned two All-American honors in just her second year running for Villanova.

Koons returned to the track late on Saturday to obtain her sixth All-American honor. She placed ninth in the 3,000-meter race, crossing the finish line in 9:16.88.

Continuing the impressive weekend for the women’s squad, sophomore Sheila Reid placed ninth in a stacked one mile race in a time of 4:40.99.

In men’s competition, senior Sean Tully placed 10th in the preliminaries of the 800-meter run. Tully ran a solid time of 1:50.02 but did not qualify.

The men’s distance medley relay team could not recover from a poor handoff and finished 16th in a field of 18 teams. Freshman Chris Williams, senior Elvis Lewis and sophomores Jason Apwah and Matthew Gibney finished in 9:50.49.

After so many great performances throughout the indoor track and field season, the Villanova track and field teams are optimistic heading into the outdoor season. The first outdoor competition is on March 28, as the team goes to Chester, Pa., to participate in the Danny Curran Invitational.