10k Runners Excel at Raleigh Relays


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Three Wildcats broke 29 minutes in the 10k event.

Jacob Artz, Staff Writer

While graduate student Haftu Strintzos has endured a setback in the NCAA Cross Country Championships that cost Villanova points, Strintzos is proving why he owns seven of the top 15 times in Villanova history in the 10k. 

On Saturday, in Raleigh, North Carolina at the Paul Derr Track and Field Facility, Strintzos raced to a time of 28:36.71, placing him in fifth place amongst a field of over 100 runners. 

This is Strintzos’ second-fastest time in his career. 

His resume is already highly decorated with two all-America honorable mentions in the 10k event. His fastest time of his career happened at last year’s Virginia Challenge, when he posted a time of 28:34.41.  

Strintzos is progressing towards breaking that personal best with meets left before the Big East Championships hosted by Villanova and the NCAA Championships. He has shown that he can perform in the big moments when he placed ninth and set a school record in the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 2021, with a time of 28:57.3. 

Two other Villanova runners placed in the top-10, with junior Jack Jennings placing in sixth with a time of 28:41.11 and graduate student Josh Phillips finishing in eighth with a time of 28:41.65.  

An interesting note for Jennings and Phillips is that this 10k race was the first for either of them on the track, as they have much more experience running on cross country courses.  

Their first time brough impressive results, as Jennings now ranks fifth on the national qualifying list, while Phillips ranks seventh. Strintzos is a spot ahead of Jennings on the national list, in fourth. 

As for the rest of the ‘Cats, sixth-year runner Ryan Cutter added his name into the Big East Conference and national rankings with a time of 29:09.39, which slots him into the 29th position in the national rankings. 

All four of the runners with these times are now top-four in the Big East Conference standings for the 10k event. 

Junior Cole Walker, who was racing in the 10k event for the first time, clocked in at a time of 30:24.20. 

Despite these impressive times, the winner of the 10k event was South Alabama’s Kirami Yego, with a time of 28:22.94. 

In addition to the distance race, several throwers competed at the Raleigh Relays meet.  

Last season’s Big East discus champion, sophomore Tristan Bolinsky, experienced an off day in the discus event with a throw of 40.76 meters. He won the Big East Championships with a throw of 49.07 meters. Bolinsky will have future meets to improve upon the early season result. 

On Thursday, junior javelin throwers Nick Coffey and Andrew Grinnell posted impressive throws. Big East Championships javelin runner-up from a year ago, Coffey, placed seventh in the field of more than 40 competitors, throwing 63.99 meters. This is the second best of his career, putting him not far off his Big East Championships throw of 65.35 meters that earned him a silver medal. 

Grinnell, who finished third at last year’s Big East Championships with a throw of 64.69 meters, threw slightly less than that in Raleigh with a mark of 60.17 meters, putting him in 14th place in this competition. This throw in Raleigh was the third best of his career. 

The ‘Cats will now travel to Texas to participate in the three-day Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays presented by Truist at Mike A. Myers Track. & Soccer Stadium. Villanova will also partake in the Big 5 Invitational at Franklin Field on Saturday.