T&F: Villanova captures eight wins at Widener

John Whalon

Over the past two weeks, the men’s and women’s track teams kept busy. March 30-31 the teams traveled to Widener University to compete in the Danny Curran Invitational. Both the men’s and women’s teams brought home numerous victories; the women won six events, and the men won two.

The wins for the women came in the 5,000-meter run, 10,000-meter run, 3,000-meter steeplechase, the high jump, the triple jump and the javelin. Liz Gesel set a meet record in the 3,000-meter run, crushing her previous personal record. Gesel’s time was both a Big East- and NCAA Regional-qualifying time. Teammate Bridget Akard also competed in the 3,000-meter run and broke the Big East-qualifying time. Freshmen Siobhan Coleman and Theresa Rush finished first and second, respectively, in the 5,000-meter run and both had times under the Big East-qualifying time. Coleman also set a new meet record in the 5,000-meter run. Katina Alexander was another Big East qualifier as she took first place in the 10,000-meter run.

In field events, victories came from sophomore Jackie Christie in triple jump and junior Abby Smith in the javelin, and sophomore Thelma Akpan tied for first in the high jump. Christie and Smith added two more names on the Big East qualifying list.

For the men’s team, victories came from junior Richard Corcoran and senior Robert McDade. Corcoran opened his outdoor season by winning the 1,500-meter run with a time that was three seconds under the old meet record. In the field, McDade claimed victory in the discus by beating the record he set last year. His throw qualified him to compete in Florida in May for the NCAA Regional. McDade also placed third in the shot put and the hammer throw, in which he hit the Big East-qualifying mark.

Over the weekend, the team competed in four different meets.

At the Sam Howell Invitational, sophomore Ellen Dougherty grabbed first place in the 1,500-meter run. Teammates Gesel and Rush finished right behind in the third and fourth places, respectively. All three competitors finished with times under the Big East-qualifying time. For the men, senior Michael Kerrigan had an impressive day, finishing second in the 1,500-meter run with Corcoran just two spots behind him.

At Franklin Field for the Penn Invitational, Smith brought the Wildcats a victory for the women’s team in the javelin.

In North Carolina, junior Frances Koons took first place in the 1,500-meter run in her first outdoor meet of the year at the Duke Invitational. Koons time qualified her for the NCAA Regional and Big East championships. Senior teammate Akilah Vargas finished behind Koons in the 1,500-meter run to take fifth place and also had a time under the NCAA Regional- and Big East-qualifying marks.

Both teams will travel to Knoxville for the Sea Ray Relays in Tennessee, and then come home to compete for one day at Penn for the Tri-Meet.