Women’s Cross Country Has Strong Start to Season


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Lydia Olivere (above) placed 14th out of 100 in the 6000 meter race with a time of 20:38.8.

Catherine Browne, Staff Writer

This Friday, the Villanova women’s cross country team began its season competing in both the Coaching Tree Invitational at Indiana University and the Main Line Invitational hosted by Haverford College. The team secured fourth place out of 12 competitors in Bloomington, Indiana and had a strong finish in Haverford, coming in first out of eight teams. 

At the Coaching Tree Invitational, fifth year senior Lydia Olivere led the team, finishing in 14th place out of 100 runners, with a time of 20:38.8 in the 6000 meter race. 

“[Olivere] is a great kid to have around the team,” head coach Gina Procaccio said. “She is very helpful, and her experience is really good to help lead them and show them the way.”

Sophomore Emily Robinson finished with a time of 21:12.8 in 28th place. Graduate student Ariana Gardizy finished in 34th place, with a mark of 21:20.3. Freshman Amelia Arrieta followed close behind, placing 36th with a time of 21:21.9. 

“Arrieta is really young in the sport,” Procaccio said of the freshman, who is only in her second season running cross country. “She is very coachable…and a great asset for us.”  

Redshirt freshman Emma McGill finished in 43rd place in her first collegiate race, with an overall time of 21:42.7.

McGill is not the only runner who competed in her first collegiate race this weekend. Gradizy and Arrieta both made their debuts, as Gardizy is a transfer graduate student from Penn, while Arrieta just began her journey as a first year student at ‘Nova. 

“It is always great to have the older kids on the team,” Procaccio said. “[Gradizy] is learning the system, and I am learning her.” 

Junior Anna Helwigh finished in 50th place, with a time of 21:51.4, and sophomore Margaret Carroll marked a time of 21:58.7 in 53rd place. 

Back closer to Villanova in Haverford, freshman Micah Trusty made her collegiate cross country debut as she led the team by finishing in fourth place, with a three-mile time of 17:56.0 out of 73 competitors. 

“I did not know what to expect, but [Trusty’s] time was really impressive,” Procaccio said.  

Four other Villanova runners crossed the finish line all within 33 seconds of each other, as sophomore Madison Martinez secured sixth place, with a mark of 17:59.0, followed very closely by first year runner Kinsey Pogue, who secured seventh place with a time of 18:01.8. Sophomore Alex Stasichin came in 10th place, recording a time of 18:11.8, and sophomore Maya Dorer crossed the finish line in 12th place, with a time of 18:28.9. Kate Flynn closed out the race for the Wildcats, finishing in 42nd place with a time of 20.39.8.

“I think the thing I am excited about the most is to see the improvement in the younger kids from last year,” Procaccio said.

The Wildcats had a strong start to their season and continue to train for their next meet, the Paul Short Run, hosted by Lehigh on Friday, Sept. 30 at 10:15 a.m. 

“We are just looking to compete tough again,” Procaccio said. “Make an improvement to see how far of a jump we can make in two weeks.”