Track makes Big bids

Kyle Scudilla

It was quite the successful week for Villanova track this week, as the women qualified four individuals and a distance medley relay team for the NCAA tournament, while the men added six qualifications for this year’s Big East Championship.

This past weekend, the women traveled to the New Balance Track and Field Center in New York, N.Y. to participate in the Collegiate Invitational.

The distance medley relay team of senior Ioana Parusheva, junior Marina Muncan, sophomore Tiera Fletcher and senior Colleen Taylor finished with a time 11:05.23, beating out seven other schools. The time was a new meet record and also currently stands as the fastest distance medley relay time in the country.

Not only did the squad set a record, but the time counted as an automatic qualifying time for the NCAA Championship.

Parusheva, Muncan and Fletcher made up three-fourths of last year’s distance medley relay team that earned All-American honors and finished fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championship.

Muncan and Parusheva also garnered individual provisional qualifying times.

In the mile run, Muncan ran a 4:41.72 to place second in the race, while her teammate Parusheva was right behind with a time of 4:42.70 to place third. Both had to run below the NCAA provisional cut of 4:47.00.

In the 3000 meters, senior Kirsty Smith of North Vancouver, British Columbia ran a 9:23.65 to best the provisional qualifying standard. Her time also qualifies as her personal best, shattering the old mark by 15 seconds.

Junior Yolanda Malcolm nailed down Villanova’s other provisional qualifying time. She made the cut in the heats of the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.43.

Another highlight on the day for the Wildcats was the performance of freshman Frances Koons. Koons qualified for the Big East and ECAC Championships in the 3000 meters with a time of 9:41.90. Previously this season Koons also qualified for both championships in the 1000 meters.

The men were busy running qualifying times of their own last weekend, when they took a trip to Penn State University in University Park, Penn. to compete in the Penn State National Invite.

Six different Wildcat team members qualified for this year’s Big East Championship, which will take place next month in Syracuse, N.Y. Five other men’s participants improved on existing qualifying times.

The star performance of the day was given by sophomore Drew Eckman ran a time of 47.62 in the 400 meters to beat the Big East qualifying time by two seconds. His time also just missed the NCAA Championship cut.

Freshman Francisco Aguirre of Quito, Ecudaor, ran a time of 49.61 and qualified for the Big East meet. Both runners had previously qualified for the tournament in the 500 meters event.