Track: Curtis and Tully lead ‘Cats in NYC

Corey Marine

Senior Bobby Curtis and junior Sean Tully set the tone for the Wildcats at the New Balance Collegiate at the New York Armory on Feb. 10, breaking records in their respective races.

Curtis qualified for the NCAA Championships with his performance, taking first place in a race of 24 runners and breaking the previous meet record for the 3,000-meter run by more than eight seconds with a time of 7:50.17. He beat the second-place finisher from Georgetown by more than three seconds en route to have the quickest time for a Villanova runner by 28 seconds.

Tulley posted a meet record time of 2:23.22 for the 1,000-meter race. This new personal best was enough to edge the next runner by over a second.

Freshman Carl Mackenzie ran a four-minute mile, an NCAA provisional qualifying time. Mackenzie’s time of 4:00.25 for the mile run earned him a second-place finish in the championship race. His time was enough to reserve him a spot in the national meet, making him the seventh ‘Nova runner to qualify for the postseason.

On top of all the success, Villanova had three more runners qualify for the Big East Championships. Despite running for the first time this season, senior Kevin Okolie qualified by running the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.95. Okolie also qualified in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.37. The two other qualifying runners were juniors Austin Casey and Michael Lynch, running times of 22.42 and 22.66, respectively, in the same race.

Villanova was successful on the women’s side as well. The relay events were a bright spot for the ‘Cats. The DMR team finished fourth, shaving 43 seconds off their previously fastest time. Their finish of 11:22.17 allows Villanova to put an entry into the national championship in March.

The women also finished second in the Pennsylvania-only section of the 4×400-meter relay with a time of 3:46.73. The Wildcats finished off the relay events by finishing third out of 12 teams in the 4×800-meter relay. Villanova finished with a time of 9:01.28, 10 seconds faster than this season’s top time.

Individually, the Wildcats qualified five new runners for postseason races. In the 800-meter event, senior Akilah Vargas and junior Ellen Dougherty finished fifth and ninth, respectively.

In her first attempt at the race this season, Jessica McDonald sprinted the 400-meter dash with a time of 56.45, good enough to qualify for a postseason spot.

The Wildcats’ next competition is the Haverford Quad Meet next week.