‘Cats on the run again

Kyle Scudilla

Last weekend, Villanova’s men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the NCAA Regionals, and both teams ranked among the top teams at the meet. The women’s performance was so good that it landed them a spot in the 2004 NCAA Championships.

The Wildcat women had a day for the ages at the regional competition, held at Penn State University in State College, PA. Junior Marina Muncan placed second out of 162 runners to lead the Villanova squad. Muncan, a native of Yugoslavia, finished the 6K race in a time of 20:42, which was just 16 seconds off the pace of the winner.

The Wildcats had four other runners finish in the top 25. Senior Ioana Parusheva (21:36), junior Elizabeth Gesel (21:38) and senior Colleen Taylor (21:44) finished 14th, 15th and 16th, respectively. Kirsty Smith finished 21st with a time of 21:55.

Villanova just missed a first-place team finish. The team’s 68 points was only topped by West Virginia’s 63. The other top five teams were Princeton (83), Georgetown (112) and Penn State (114).

The Wildcats second place result has catapulted them into the 2004 NCAA Cross Country Championships to be held this Monday at Indiana State University.

Although the men will not be joining them at the Nationals, they still had a very strong showing at their regional competition. Villanova placed fifth out of 23 teams. Big East Champion Bobby Curtis led the Wildcats to their near-top finish. Curtis finished third out of 159 runners in the 10K race. His time of 30:33 was just seconds off the pace of the winning time, which was achieved by a member of the Georgetown University squad.

Junior Marc Pelerin finished with a time of 31:08, good enough for 17th overall. Other top Villanova runners included sophomores Michael Kerrigan (32nd, 31:54), Kippy Keino (32:03, 36th) and David Van Orsdel (32:03, 37th).

The men totaled 125 points at the regional meet. They were topped by Georgetown (49), American (63), Penn (112) and La Salle (115).