Track: Villanova lands 13 winners at Jack Pyrah Invitational

Kate McAvey

The track and field team opened its ’07-’08 season with a bang this past Saturday in the fifth annual Jack Pyrah Invitational, honoring the late head coach who passed away this summer. The Wildcats took on competitors from Haverford College, La Salle, Temple and Delaware at Haverford College’s Alumni Field House. Villanova freshman Audrey Gariepy-Bogui placed first in two events, while seven other Villanova women also finished first. The men’s team competed just as impressively, with five runners gaining victories.

Gariepy-Bogui blew away the competition in her first collegiate meet. She sailed across the finish line, completing the 55-meter hurdles with a superb time of 8.19 second. Later she jumped an outstanding distance of 5.32 meters in the long jump to garner another victory.

The rest of the women’s team was just as successful as their young teammate, with first-place finishes in five running and two field events.

Sophomore Laura O’Sullivan ran the mile in 5:14.50, finishing first with four other Wildcats directly behind her to secure the second, third, fourth and fifth spots in the event. Freshman Ashlyn Llerandi dominated the pole vault, vaulting 3.55 meters, while junior Jackie Christie jumped 11.21 meters in the triple jump, finishing first.

The men’s track and field team had a performance just as remarkable. Junior Elvis Lewis finished first in the 500-meter dash with a time of 1:04.79. Senior Mark Korich conquered the 1,000-meter run with a finishing time of 2:31.17, followed by Wildcat runners securing the second, third, fourth and fifth spots. Senior Richard Corcoran completed the mile in 4:15.76, taking first place. Freshman Carl Mackenzie coasted across the finish line first in the 3,000-meter event, clocking in at 8:18.30. Junior Elliot Whaley secured a first-place finish in the 300-meter dash with a time of 36.03 seconds.

Both the men and women Wildcats started the season on the right foot. Villanova will be off and running again at the Penn State Relays on Jan. 12 in College Park, Pa.