Men’s Track Breaks Distance Medley Relay Record


Courtesy of Villanovan Athletics

Men’s track and field shatter 36 year old school record.

Jacob Artz, Staff Writer

Another week, another school record blown away. This time in dominant fashion.

The quartet of junior Liam Murphy, freshman Jimmy Milgie, senior Sean Dolan and graduate student Charlie O’Donovan obliterated the old indoor school record with a time of 9:20.44 in the distance medley relay at the Alex Wilson Invitational at Notre Dame on Saturday afternoon. 

The former overall Villanova school record, which includes indoor and outdoor meets, had stood since the 1987 Penn Relays when a Wildcats grouping ran to a time of 9:21.04.

Villanova’s time narrowly beat out Michigan for third place, with the Wolverines posting a time of 9:20.83. ‘Nova almost claimed the top spot, with Wisconsin and North Carolina tying for first with a time of 9:19.99.

Murphy opened in the 1200-meter portion in the four-leg event. There are two different types of runners, some that thrive with runners around them and some that do well with being able to keep their own pace in a time trial-like fashion.

Murphy likes runners around him and opening with him was the correct decision. Murphy ran to an approximate time of 2:52 for the 1200-meter run, according to head coach Marcus O’Sullivan.

“It was the right call, more so because [O’Donovan] was the right one to have on the anchor on this particular case,” O’Sullivan said.

Murphy did break too early for the finish line as the track was disorienting with 400 meters being a lap and a quarter.

Milgie led the second portion of the event in the 400-meter dash, and he continued the pace for the team. He posted an estimated time of 48 seconds in the dash, according to O’Sullivan.

“Let’s kinda stay on our feet, don’t fall down and maintain,” O’Sullivan said of Milgie’s duty to keep the pace going.

Once the first two legs were completed, the ‘Cats found themselves well behind, but Dolan in the 800-meters produced when the team needed it.

“[Dolan] ran, I would say, one the best legs he’s ever run, maybe 1:45 high,” O’Sullivan said.

When O’Donovan received the baton, he was in an awful spot, considering he had five to six teams behind him that could draft off him. O’Donovan is the type of athlete that can pace himself well and is a good front-runner without runners around him.

O’Donovan was able to draft behind the Texas runner later in his run and maintain his pace throughout until the last lap.

“He ended up running 3:53 for the 1600, which was a big, big run for him, and almost closed in on Wisconsin,” O’Sullivan said.

The overall team time was blazing, but it was only the fifth fastest time of the weekend. This puts ‘Nova fifth in the NCAA championship rankings, and the top-16 receive a berth in the NCAA Championships.

Across the world, freshman Marco Langon competed in Bathurst, Australia early Saturday morning in the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 23.

Langon raced to a 19th place finish with a time of 26:16 in the 8000-meter, helping guide Team USA to a bronze medal.

“He said he wanted to be top-20,” O’Sullivan said. “We thought, even [assistant coach] Matt Valeriani and myself, we thought that was really ambitious.”

Langon was able to prepare himself well on campus.

“We were very, very fortunate enough with the weather because we were able to stay on the turf on West Campus a lot,” O’Sullivan said. “We did a lot of long-distance work over there.”

The weather in Australia was a challenge with temperatures reaching 95-degrees, but he was the second American to finish.

Langon was one of six male runners representing Team USA in the world championships.

Langon performed well as soon as he donned the Villanova jersey. He earned the honors of Mid-Atlantic All-Region and All Big East Second Team. He also placed 13th in the Big East Championships in the 8000 meters during cross country season.

It is a quick turnaround for the ‘Cats, as they will travel to Chicago on Wednesday for the Big East Championships next Friday and Saturday.

Connecticut will most likely prevail in this year’s edition because of its depth and talent throughout many of the races. ‘Nova will be fighting for the runner-up position.

“In a kind of landscaped idea, we could finish second, or we could finish fourth,” O’Sullivan said. “And the points difference will be small.”

For example, Connecticut won the Big East Championships last year with a total of 227 points. DePaul finished second with 99 points, Villanova placed third with 96 points and Butler and Georgetown finished right behind ‘Nova with 95 and 91 points.

“It would be nice to get on the podium, you know, for the team,” O’Sullivan said.