The running Wildcats took on the Big Apple last Friday, competing in the NYC Gotham Cup at the New York Armory, qualifying six women and eight men for the Big East Championships set to take place next month.
The story for the men’s team was the freshmen. Three of the Big East qualifers for the Wildcats are freshmen, and two of these classmates were race winners in New York. One such rookie was Jason Apwah who won the men’s 1,000-meter run with an impressive time of 2:26.97. Freshman Carl Mackenzie brought home the gold with a time of 8:21.34 in the men’s 3,000-meter run.
The successes for the men’s team did not simply stop at these two victories. Senior Michael Kerrigan and freshman Brian Tetreault dominated the mile, finishing with times of 4:11.64 and 4:18.78, finishing second and 10th, respectively. Freshman Christopher Giunta placed seventh out of 65 runners with a time of 49.44 in the 400-meter run, while sophomore Bobby Papazian ran the 5,000 meters in 14:41.21, coming in second out of 15. These times qualified both Giunta and Papzian for the Big East Championships. Sophomore Shane Loh qualified for the Big East Championships as well by clearing 1.96 meters in the high jump.
The men weren’t the only ones with a successful outing at the Gotham Cup. The women’s team had an impressive finish in the 1,000-meter run, capturing five of the top eight spots. Senior Akilah Vargas finished first in the women’s 1,000-meter run with a blazing time of 2:52.97. Following Vargas, freshman Shelia Reid finished with a time of 2:53.10, and junior Ellen Dougherty had a time of 2:54.58. Freshman Alison Smith was close behind, finishing fifth with a time of 2:55.95, and freshman Callie Hogan crossed with a time of 2:57.47, coming in eighth. Freshmen Amanda Marino and Sarah Morrison finished second and sixth with times of 4:58.46 and 5:02.55, respectively, in the mile, earning their invitation to the Big East Championships. Coming in second with a time of 10:04.00 in the 3,000-meter run was sophomore Theresa Rush, who was also among the qualified runners. Freshmen Colleen Knill and Ashlyn Llerando placed third and second, respectively, in the pole vault, both qualifying for the conference meet. Knill cleared 3.4 meters, while Llerandi cleared 3.55.
The Wildcats will take to the track again tomorrow and Saturday at the Penn State National Open. State College has been good to Villanova already this winter season. The ‘Cats posted several top finishes in the Penn State Relays that took place earlier this month.