T&F: ‘Cats play on despite storms at Sea Relays

John Whalon

The weather was the track and field teams’ enemy this weekend, as many of the events at Tennessee’s Sea Relays were cancelled because of the dreadful conditions. However, the Wildcats faired well in the events that were held. The men’s team also had athletes travel to the Mount Sac relays in California, and they competed at the University of Pennsylvania in the Penn Quad Meet on Saturday.

At Tennessee, even though the Lady ‘Cats could not claim victory in an event, they had a number of strong performances. Senior Monique Morgan had an exceptional day, finishing in the top 10 in the 100-meter hurdles and the 400-meter hurdles. In the 100-meter hurdles, Morgan was only a tenth of a second from first place, and she finished in sixth place in the 400-meter hurdles. Fellow senior teammate Liz Gesel also had a good day, finishing third in the 3,000-meter open run. Katina Alexander also competed in the 3,000-meter open run and did not finish far behind Gesel; she took eighth place in the event. Teammates senior Akilah Vargas and junior Frances Koons both competed in the 800-meter run and took sixth and ninth places, respectively.

The men’s team did not have as many competitors in the Sea Relays as the women’s team did, but the team did get strong performances from the athletes who participated. Sophomore Elvis Lewis grabbed fourth place overall in the 400-meter dash but was first out of the collegian competitors. Lewis’ time also qualified him for the NCAA Regionals. Senior Drew Eckman joined Lewis as an NCAA Regional qualifier as he brought home third place in the 800-meter dash. Senior field competitor Robert McDade had a good day as he competed in the hammer throw, the shot put and the discus at the invitational. Out of the three events, McDade’s best performance was in the hammer throw, which he measured a distance of 53.26 meters.

At the Mount Sac Relays, senior distance runner Bobby Curtis ran the 5,000-meter run faster than anybody from Villanova in the past 25 years. His time finished him 14th out of 34 runners but qualified him for the Big East championship and the NCAA Regionals in May.

At Penn, the men’s team had a phenomenal Saturday, bringing home two victories and numerous top-three finishes. Senior Michael Kerrigan won the 800-meter dash and edged out fellow runner sophomore Sean Tully, who took second place in the event by only .11 seconds. Both runners also qualified for the Big East Championships. Senior Andrew Keino and freshmen Kevin Sives, Allan Brett and Rudy Belko finished second, third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 1,500-meter run, and all finished under the Big East qualifying mark. Freshman Daniel Lewis joined his other teammates as he ran under the Big East qualifying mark and finished in second place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Sophomore Matt Papson, just back from injury, won the javelin throw as he added another Villanova name to the Big East-qualifier list.

Both track teams look to continue their strong performances as they head to Widener University for the Widener Invitational. The meet, which will be held about 15 miles south of Villanova, will take place this weekend and feature some teams from the local area and other East Coast squads.