Track and Field enjoys success in NY

Sam Carella

The Villanova men and women’s track teams competed in the fourth annual New Balance Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York City Feb. 13 and 14. Each year this invitational draws many of the country’s best athletes and makes for some impressive performances. Overall the weekend was a success for the ‘Cats with several qualifiers for the NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., most notably, the women’s distance medley relay.

On the men’s side senior Carlos Bedoya ran an impressive 200-meter-dash in 21.27 seconds, earning himself a provisional qualifier for NCAAs and placing sixth overall in the event. Freshman Drew Eckman finished fourth in the 400-meter dash in 49.12 seconds, a time which would not have qualified him for NCAAs, however, he ran 48.37 seconds in the preliminary heats and provisionally qualified for NCAAs with that time.

Fellow freshmen Bobby Curtis (second) and Kippy Keino (fifth) ran tough races in the mile. After going out in under two minutes for the first half-mile, they were able to come back and finish in 4 minutes, 4.37 seconds and 4 minutes, 5 seconds respectively. Curtis’ time was fast enough to earn him a provisional qualifier for NCAAs, although it is unlikely that his provisional qualifier will be fast enough to put him on the starting line in Arkansas.

Tom Parlapiano was yet another Wildcat to run a provisional qualifying time. Parlapiano ran 8:01.83 for first place in the 3000-meter run with Georgetown’s Rod Koborsi right on his heals in 8:02.25. “Tom was almost a day late and a dollar short, but managed to pull it out in the end,” head coach Marcus O’Sullivan said. Also of note is Milos Mitric’s fifth place finish in the 5000 meter in 14:50.10.

The women’s team was no less impressive than the men’s. Their distance medley Relay team consisted of Rebecca Mitchell running the 1200-meter run, Tiera Fletcher running the 400 meter, Ioana Parusheva running the 800-meter run, and Marina Muncan running the mile. All four women ran posting times of 3:29, 2:55, 2:11, and 4:36 respectively, with an overall time of 11:12.31, and an automatic qualifier for the NCAA Championships.

In the women’s 60-meter hurdles, sophomore Yolanda Malcolm placed sixth overall with a time of 8.53 seconds. Junior Colleen Taylor placed sixth overall in the 800-meter-run in 2:10.95. Nia Cooper was eighth overall in the triple jump, leaping 10.68 meters. Also, Kirsty Smith ran 9:54.71 in the 3000-meter run to finish seventh overall.

The Wildcats are looking very good for the Big East Championships on Feb. 21 and 22 in Syracuse, NY. The men have approximately 13 athletes qualified for the championships, and will take a few more to run the relays. Six of the 13 men are ranked in the top five in the Big East for their respective event, making it possible for the men to score a considerable number of points. The women have an impressive 19 and will also most likely take a few extra for their relays. Four of the women’s athletes are in the top five for their respective events. The ‘Cats are poised for a great weekend in Syracuse.