‘Nova runners sprint to strong finish

Kaitlin Santanna

Both the Villanova men’s and women’s Track and Field teams had a successful outing at the Penn State Invitational on Jan. 28. The men recorded six top-three finishes, while the women have potentially two runners qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships.

Senior Marina Muncan set a new Penn State record in the 3000-meter with a time of 9:10.32. She broke a nine-year record of 9:13.06 set by Paula Renzi in 1997. Since Muncan’s time was better than the required time of 9:16.00, she is automatically qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships to be held March 10-11. Sophomore Frances Koons placed third in the 3000-meter also. Her pace of 9:18.58 is good enough to provisionally qualify her for the championships.

Sophomore Arusha McKenzie and junior Akilah Vargas each finished fifth in the 800-meter (2:12.08) and 1000-meter (2:56.74) respectively. Emily McMillan also finished sixth in the 1000-meter with a time of 2:56.93.

The victory for the men came in the 4×100 relay. The 4×400 relay team, consisting of senior Carl Hansen, sophomore John Wilsman, freshman Elvis Lewis and junior Drew Eckman, stopped the clock at 3:13.91. Freshmen Sean Tully and Brandon Eck along with juniors Mark Korich and Andrew Keino make up the DMR team which finished second with a time of 9:55.99.

Along with the dominant team runs, the men’s squad had several other successful finishes. Second place finishes were taken by Robert Curtis in the 1000-meter run (2:23.73), Milos Mitric in the 5000-meter (14:29.07) and Robert McDade in the weight throw with a distance of 61′ 1.25” (18.62 m).

Relay team runners had noteworthy finishes in individual events as well. Eckman finished third in the 800-meter run, and Wilsman crossed the finish line fourth with a time of 48.51 in the 400-meter dash. DMR teammate Tully finished sixth in the 800-meter run (1:53.12). Senior Craig Segal completed the 3000-meter run in sixth place in 8:22.61.