‘Nova track spread, but united

Sam Carrella

Last weekend the Villanova men and women’s track teams were spread out. Many athletes competed at Penn State, while others were in Boston or Delaware. While the majority of the Villanovans competed at Penn State, some of the most impressive races were run in Boston at the Adidas Boston Indoor Games and the Terrier Invitational.

At the Adidas Boston Indoor Games four ‘Cats competed in the men’s Distance Medley Relay, consisting of a 1200m, a 400m, an 800m and mile, each run by a different member of the team. The DMR team consisted of Bobby Curtis (2:57), Drew Eckman(:47), Paul Moser (1:50) and Tom Parlapiano running a blistering three minutes, 58 seconds for the anchor leg. They finished in nine minutes, 34.72 seconds, a time which automatically qualifies them for the NCAA championships. Men’s head coach Marcus O’Sullivan said, “It is great to have the dmr out of the way in terms of a qualifier for the NCAA and the athletes can now challenge themselves in individual events.” Villanova’s Men’s team has been national champions in the DMR for the last two years and is looking to make it a third. Also in Boston, on the women’s side Marina Muncan ran 9:18.02 at the Terrier Invitational to earn a provisional qualifying time for the NCAA championships.

At the Penn State Invitational, there were several performances of note on both the men’s side and the women’s side. Wildcat Freshman Kippy Keino placed third in the mile with a time of 4:08.65. Jason Jabaut was third in the 1000m run while Mark Carberry was seventh, with times of 2:26.44 and 2:28.65 respectively. Also, Carlos Bedoya crossed the finish line in eighth place with a time of 48.35 seconds. All four marks satisfy the qualifying standards for the Big East Championships. On the women’s side, Villanova freshman Tiera Fletcher placed 28th in the 200m dash, posting a time of 25.33 seconds. In the mile run, Kirsty Smith (third), Rebecca Mitchell (sixth) and Colleen Taylor (ninth) all ran races with times of 4:51.28, 4:53.33, and 5:00.37 respectively. In the 800m, Senior Melanie Rhoden, and Freshman Zita Mezei ran 2:16.09, and 2:16.69. The longer distances also produced some quality times. In the 3000m Carre Joyce was second with a time of 9 minutes and 45.97 seconds. Bridget Akard ran the 5000m in 17:50.05 to finish 12th.

Women’s head coach Gina Procaccio said, “We had some really solid performances at Penn State this weekend which resulted in additional Big East qualifiers. We now have 16 athletes qualified for the Big East. The team is progressing as expected and should be able to challenge for a top three team finish.”

At the Thomson Invitational in Delaware Tim Reilly added his name to the list of Big East Qualifier with a jump of 4.65m, or 15.25 feet and a first place finish.

Although red-shirting the season for Villanova, Ryan Hayden had a great race this weekend. He competed in the Washington Invitational and placed sixth in 7 minutes and 55.47 seconds. Marcus O’Sullivan said, “Ryan ran outstanding in Washington. An outstanding run, 7:55, that gives him a birth on the Canadian World Cross Country team.” We hope to see him competing for Villanova again next year.

This weekend the Wildcats will travel to New York City to compete in the Collegiate Invite at the Armory, one of the fastest tracks in the country.

The ‘Cats are having a great season and are looking for more opportunities assert their talent.

For further information on Villanova Track and Field go to www.runnova.com, a great website run by Andrew Blaich, a member of the men’s team, constantly updated with accurate and useful information.