Track and Field Dominates Two Meets


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Track and Field Dominates Two Meets

Jamie Pennington, Staff Writer

This weekend, the men’s and women’s track and field teams competed at the Raleigh Relays in Raleigh, North Carolina, hosted by North Carolina State at the Paul H. Derr Track, as well as at the Penn Challenge at UPenn’s historic Franklin Field.

On day one of the men’s side, Villanova dominated the 1500-meter event In Raleigh, where redshirt freshman Sean Dolan, fifth-year senior Casey Comber and junior Charlie O’Donovan recorded their times in under 3:42.20 – the metric equivalent of a sub-four minute mile. Additionally, fifth-year senior Nick Steele competed in the final heat of the 1500, just 10 days after his NCAA Cross Country appearance, along with O’Donovan.

In the 5000-meter event, juniors Haftu Strinzos and Josh Phillips each broke 13:50 later that same night, with Strinzos placing seventh in his first collegiate outdoor race (13:47.32), while Phillips finished just behind in ninth (13:48.83). Fifth-year senior Paul Nichols also competed in the 5k, shaving more than 11 seconds off his previous PR, notching a time of 14:34.04, while winning his respective heat.

Villanova’s showing in the field events proved successful, with competitors in the pole vault, shot put and javelin. On Thursday, freshman thrower Nick Coffey threw a lifetime best in the javelin in his collegiate debut, throwing for 59.02 meters on his initial attempt, notching him an 11th place overall finish. This performance puts Coffey in ninth for Villanova’s all-time performance list for javelin. Freshman Andrew Grinnell also shined in his collegiate debut, throwing for 53.3 meters, improving his previous week’s mark. In the shot put, senior Billy Loewen placed 13th overall, recording his best mark for 15.43 meters. 

Day one for the women proved to be just as successful, with senior Thrower Taryn Ashby breaking her own school record in the javelin, with a lifetime best of 48.98 meters on her first attempt of the day, finishing third overall. Sophomore Liv Morgan competed in the javelin as well, throwing for 37.32. She then competed in the 100-meter hurdles, placing third in her heat with a time of 15.26.

Day two of the Relays included Villanova performers in the 400-meter, 1500-meter, high jump, triple jump and discus. 

Junior sprinter Richie Bush recorded a PR in the 400, racing a time of 48.39 and finishing 12th overall, and junior sprinter Keegan Hughes placed 23rd overall, running a time of 49.48. In the long jump, junior Jacob Kelly placed sixth overall, clearing the bar at 2.00 meters, and was one of the 11 competitors who advanced past that height. 

For the women, fifth-year McKenna Keegan ran a 54.80 in the 400 -meters, placing fourth overall, earning a collegiate PR in an open race. Junior Lydia Olivere and sophomore Anna Helwigh competed in the 1500 meters, recording times of 4:22.28 and 4:23.22, respectively. French made her second appearance in the discus, with a mark of 50.39 meters as well as a new school record. 

On Saturday, Anczarski competed in the hammer throw, throwing for 52.65 meters, moving to sixth place in school history. Additionally, senior Michael Troup competed in the long jump, finishing in ninth with a mark of 6.75 meters. Sophomore middle distance runner Miller Anderson represented Villanova in the 800, placing third in his heat with a time of 1:52.92.

Keegan continued her remarkable season with a PR in the 800 meters, her third time in past 16 days earning an 800-meter lifetime best, recording a time of 2:04.26 and second place overall.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, 15 Wildcats competed at the Penn Challenge for the men’s team. In the 100-meters, Dylan Henry recorded a time of 11.27, winning his heat. In the 200, Henry placed eighth (22.50), and Jacob Kunzer placed 11th overall (22.86). In the 400-meter hurdles, Nicholas Mollica finished out in second place (55.61) and Mac Costonsis placed third (57.21). 

On the women’s side of the Penn Challenge, junior long jumper Trinity Hart recorded a PR of 5.63 meters, which earned her a top-ten spot in the school record book. Faith Robinson jumped 5.30 meters, Jennifer Barbour jumped 5.11 meters and Caroline Carlson jumped 4.87 meters. This group of athletes also ran in the 100-meter event, with Hart placing eighth (12.64), Robinson placing ninth (12.65) and Barbour recording a PR of 12.87. 

Livingston also competed in the 200-meter event, finishing eighth overall with a time of 26.03, along with Thomas (10th, 26.10), Sarah Jones (27.22) and Nikki Merrill (28.30). In the 400-meter event, Kate Flynn ran 1:06.89 and Merrill 1:00.98.