Team effort helps track finish fifth at Big East Indoor Championship

Brett Cyrgalis

From the back of Tolentine to the doors of Dougherty is about 400 meters. It seems like a reasonable distance. Now imagine making that trek in just under 48 seconds. That is completely unreasonable. And this is exactly what freshman Elvis Lewis did last weekend at the Big East Indoor Track and Field Championships held in Akron, Ohio.

Unfortunately, that time placed Lewis second by a mere .25 seconds. But it was a precursor of what was to come, as Lewis anchored the 4 x 400 relay team of John Wilsman, Carl Hansen and Drew Eckman to victory with the blistering time of 3:11.58. That gave quite the boost to the Villanova men’s team, who finished fifth overall with 74 points.

Eckman and Wilsman also continued to turn heads as they placed second and sixth respectively in the men’s 500 meters. Eckman ran a very fast 1:02.98 and was only denied the title by .11 seconds.

In what could be considered the most exciting race of the two-day track extravaganza, Bobby Curtis turned the last corner of the 1 mile race neck-and-neck with the top qualifier in preliminaries, Max Smith of Providence College. Curtis dug and gave it his best only to be edged out at the line by half of a second. He ended up running 16 seconds faster then his preliminary time.

Curtis also teamed up with the brothers Tully (Dan and Sean) and Mark Korich in the 4 x 800 relay. After trading blows with the very strong Notre Dame team all race, the guys fell just short while still posting a very good time of 7:30.70, placing second.

Korich and Sean Tully also fought extremely hard in the 1,000-meter race which ended up being another fierce battle where they placed second and sixth respectively.

On the women’s side of things, senior Marina Muncan stole the show. She led the ‘Cats to a fourth place overall finish (67 points) with a victory in the mile as well as the 1,000 meters. Muncan’s hard training and dedication to success has propelled her to the forefront of Villanova track. Her senior influence is also paying off, as seen in the performance by sophomore Frances Koons, who contributed nicely with second place finishes in the 1,000 meters as well as the 3,000 meters.

Although Villanova didn’t win the Big East Championships, the true spirit of the University shone through with the phenomenal efforts given by all the participants. And now maybe the next time you walk across campus, you’ll wonder how fast you can make it from Tolentine to Dougherty – although probably not. Just remember that there are a lot of people who spend hours everyday thinking about how fast they can get from point A to point B, and last weekend showed that they’re pretty good at it.