Women’s T&F Finishes Regular Season


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

McKenna Keegan (above) entered the top-three in 800-meter times this year.

Catherine Browne, Staff Writer

Over the weekend, Villanova’s women’s track and field was represented at three separate individual meets, with no team scoring. The team competed for two days in meets hosted by Rutgers, Clemson and Washington.

In New York, for the Rutgers Open, graduate thrower Sade Meeks finished second out of 15 athletes in the championship section of the weight throw, with a mark of 19.13 meters. This throw adds to her success of the season, as it is the fifth-best mark of her career and second-longest throw in school history.

In the college section of the weight throw competition, senior thrower Emily Galvin marked her personal best and the fifth-longest throw in school history, with a mark of 16.59 meters. Graduate thrower Jul Thomson placed seventh right behind Galvin, with her top mark being 16.01 meters. 

Senior Alexis Martin won first place in her heat of the 400 meter race, with a time of 59.67.

On the second day of the competition, freshman Maya Dorer competed in the 600 meter race and tied the eighth-fastest time in school history, clocking in at 1:33.26, which placed her in fifth.

Sophomore Kate Flynn recorded a new personal best in the 800 meter race, with a time of 2:29.76, finishing in ninth place. 

In the shot put event, Meeks and Thomson made another appearance and placed third and fourth, respectively, where Meeks’ top throw was 14.53 meters and Thomson threw an indoor personal best of 14.17 meters.

In the competition hosted by Clemson, junior Jane Livingston beat her personal best in the preliminary heats of the 60 meter hurdles, with a time of 8.27. This qualified her for the semifinals where she beat her mark again, with a time of 8.25.

Following Friday’s competition, senior Sanaä Barnes earned second place on this year’s Big East performance list in the high jump, with a height of 1.77 meters. This mark tied her for third place out of 34 competitors. This was Barnes first time competing since the U.S. Olympic Team Trials last summer and the closing of the Villanova volleyball season. 

Head coach Gina Procaccio says that Barnes’ appearance in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials last summer “has helped keep up the tradition because [they] usually do have athletes qualify for the Trials every year.” 

In Seattle, Washington, junior Maggie Smith, freshman Sadie Sigfstead, junior Anna Helwigh and freshman Emma McGill ran in the invitational heat of the 3000 meter competition. Smith beat her personal best, with a time of 9:21.43, placing her in fourth place on the Big East performance list this season for the event. She finished seventh out of 83 competitors, with Sigfstead following close behind in 20th place, with a time of 9:27.04 and Helwigh in 27th place beating her personal best, with a time of 9:32.81. 

Freshman Emma McGill ran a personal best of 9:41.77 in the 3000 meter race. 

On the final day of the competition, graduate student Mckenna Keegan raced in the top heat of the 800 meter race and placed third in the nation’s fastest times this season. She finished with a time of 2:03.48, which puts her in a position to be selected as an individual qualifier for the NCAA Championships next month. 

Keegan is one of the few athletes, including Meeks and Thomson, that will be graduating after this season, and Procaccio hopes for these athletes “to continue to improve and compete at the highest level” to strongly close out this season as some of the top scorers on the team.  

Freshman Emily Robinson lowered her personal best in the mile, with a time of 5:02.63.

This weekend marked the final competition until the Big East Championships on Feb. 25 in Chicago. Procaccio has stressed the prevalence of the Big East Championship in the past, and she feels as though this weekend was the last chance to see if anything needs changing, but she thinks the team looks really good coming out of the final regular season competition.

The women’s track and field team has won 17 Big East Championship titles and will take a crack at number 18 in a couple of weeks. And, Procaccio knows that in the upcoming contest, the team will have to lean on its seniors, who have experience in the big meet.

“Every team is different,” Procaccio said. “[They] are always going to rely on [their] strengths and (…) on the seniors that have been [at the championships] before.”