Elvis reigns as king of track at Villanova

Jamie Augustinsky

As a sport’s season progresses, each contributing member continues to work hard to propel the team toward a successful season. Seniors, especially, go above and beyond the norm to surpass their previous accomplishments. Some may continue to play the sport in the future. For others, their last collegiate competition will be the last time they compete in the sport that has been such a big part of their identity. Either way, seniors want to shine in the final year of their athletic careers. And for Elvis Lewis, what a career it has been so far.

The senior track and field team member has accomplished so much in his first three years as a Wildcat. From numerous Big East Championships to making a name for himself in NCAA competition, Lewis has made his mark as a dominant sprinter. Based on his performance this weekend, it seems that he has started out his final season on the right foot.

This past Saturday at the Penn State National Invitational, Lewis ran to a first place finish in the 500-meter race, achieving a personal best time of 1:02.60 in the process. The 4×400-meter relay team of Lewis and teammates Garrett Kroner, Chris Kearney and Cody Harper also gained recognition in the meet, finishing with a time of 3:14.87 and placing fourth. Finishing first is nothing new to Lewis. As a high school runner in his hometown of West Hempstead, N.Y., he was named state champion in both the indoor 300-meter race and the outdoor 400-meter race.

Lewis was able to make the transition from high school star to college athlete. In his freshman season, he showed that he was not only a valuable asset to the team, but also proved himself a force to be reckoned with throughout the Big East. He finished second in the indoor 400-meter race Big East Championships and improved upon his time to be named the Big East Champion for the outdoor version of the same event in the spring season.

As a sophomore, Lewis ran to Big East Championships in both the indoor and outdoor 400m races, and competed in the NCAA Regionals for the outdoor event, where he finished fourth.

The 2008 season brought another Big East Championship to Lewis who won the indoor 400-meter race with a time of 47.79. His time of 46.33 in the Big East Championships for the 400-meter outdoor race was good enough to secure an impressive second-place finish. Though he again qualified for the NCAA Regionals for the event, an injury during the finals prevented him from repeating his previous year’s impressive performance.

His individual sprints aren’t the only places where Lewis has gained national exposure and recognition. As one-fourth of the indoor and outdoor 4x400m teams in 2006, he added two more Big East Championships to his resume. His contributions to the 2006 and 2008 indoor distance medley relay teams helped them to finish third and eighth, respectively, in the NCAA Championships.

The criminal justice major will try to add even more Big East Championships to his already long list of accomplishments and run to NCAA qualifying times in his senior season. With the indoor track and field season just starting a few weeks ago and the outdoor season still to come later in the spring, we still have a lot left to see from Lewis this season.