Track sprints to success in three events

David Roman

Track Roundup

After a long and busy weekend, both the men’s and women’s track teams returned home with great success. The athletes traveled to one of three different venues: the Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden, the Penn State National and the McElligot Invitational hosted by Haverford College.

At the Millrose Games on Jan. 30, seniors Dan and Sean Tully and sophomores Jason Apwah and Matthew Wikler excelled in the 4×800-meter relay. After finishing second in the last two years, the talented foursome won the event with a time of 7:35.08, beating out Columbia and Cornell while improving on their time from last year by .37.

However, the majority of the athletes competed at the Penn State National on Jan. 30-31, with many also finding success. One of the highlights of the weekend at Happy Valley was the women’s mile run, with Wildcats sweeping the top three spots. Senior Frances Koons won the event with a time of 4:40.93, with junior Nicole Schappert finishing second with a 4:41.83 mark and sophomore Sheila Reid coming in third at 4:43.05. The three runners, with the help of sophomore Kristen Mahon, also won the distance medley with a time of 11:18.83.

The women’s team also finished strong in the 4×400-relay, with sophomores Jessona MacDonald and Kristen Mahon, senior Jordan Sarruda and junior Makalia Griffith winning the event at 3:45.45. Both Griffith and Sarruda finished strong in the 500-meter dash, Griffith placing second and Sarruda finishing third.

Similarly, the men found victory, with senior Elvis Lewis winning the 500-meter dash at a time of 1:02, while junior Garret Kroner came in a solid fourth at 1:04.69. In the 3000-meter run, senior Patrick Mellea finished in an impressive second with a time of 8:09.02, while senior Cody Harper finished third in the 800-meter race at 1:50.75.

Lastly, other athletes traveled down the street to compete in the McElligot Invitational. Junior Mary Kate Phelan and freshman Ashley Dunbar had an outstanding weekend competing in both the 55 and 200-meter dashes. In the 55-meter, Phelan won with a mark of 7.40, while Dunbar finished in a close second at 7.49. In the 200-meter, the roles switched, with Dunbar winning with a time of 25.95 and Phelan finishing second. The women’s team took the long jump, with sophomore Erica Reijula winning at a mark of 4.96 meters. She also finished a notable third in the triple jump.

The men succeeded, especially in the shot put, where three Wildcats finished in the top six. Junior Matt Ratigan won the event with a distance of 14.06 meters, while freshman Frank Anuszewski placed third.

Tennis Roundup

The men’s tennis team fell to the Binghamton Bearcats 6-1 on Jan. 31. The Bearcats took all six singles matches in straight sets.

The Wildcats salvaged a point after taking the doubles matches. Junior Alex Leeser and sophomore Dave Shaheen of Villanova defeated Sven Vloedgraven and Gilbert Wong, 9-7. The Bearcat duo of Arnav Jain and Alexandre Haggai took out sophomore Trenton Alenik and freshman Zack Siegler, 8-6. Freshmen Alex Hanno and Mike Taylor proved too much for Binghamton’s Moshe Levy and Rafael Rodrigues, winning 8-5.

However, the Wildcats could not get anything going in their singles match. Leeser gave Levy a real test but lost in two sets, 7-6, 6-4. Vloedgraven overmatched Maher 6-1, 6-3. In the third matchup, Jain banged up Shaheen 6-3, 6-4. Wong was relentless, defeating Alenik 6-0 in both sets. In the fifth matchup, Haggai overpowered Siegler, winning both sets 6-0 as well. Rodrigues capped off the large victory by defeating Hanno 6-2, 6-3.

After a rocky start against Binghmaton, the Wildcats will be able to turn things around right away. Villanova’s next match is at Navy on Saturday in Anapolis, MD.