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Track and Field Delivers Big Performances at UMiami and UPenn

Courtesy of Villanova Athletics
Senior thrower Nick Coffey recorded the 10th-longest throw in Villanova program history over the weekend at the Hurricane Alumni Invitational in Coral Gables, Fla.

The javelin left the hand of senior Nick Coffey and soared through the Miami sky. The throw allowed Coffey to record the 10th-longest throw in school history.

In the shot put, fifth-year Jordan Williams and Adria Retter delivered two of the biggest performances for the women.

Some Villanova track and field athletes headed to the Hurricane Alumni Invitational hosted by the University of Miami. Others headed to the Penn Invitational hosted by the University of Pennsylvania.

Coffey threw for a distance of 65.46 meters and finished third in the javelin. It was an increase from his distance in the season opener two weeks ago by nearly two full meters. The throw maintained Coffey’s spot on the top of this year’s Big East performance list.

“Coffey threw 65-and-change in the javelin. That will probably get into NCAA Regionals,” said head coach Marcus O’Sullivan. “Which is pretty good from that standpoint.”

Senior Justin Miller made his season debut in the javelin alongside Coffey. Miller threw for a distance of 50.22 meters. He also claimed a season-best jump of 6.95 meters in the long jump.

In the 400-meter hurdles, senior Nicholas Mollica and sophomore Luke Rakowitz rank third and fourth on this year’s Big East performance list. Mollica finished sixth out of 20 athletes in the hurdles with a time of 53.40, followed by Rakowitz who recorded a personal best of 56.09. 

Sophomore Amiri Prescod made his outdoor season debut this past weekend. Prescod is coming off his first Big East title in the indoor 60 meters.

He had a time of 10.68 in the 100 meters and a time of 21.76 in the 200 meters.

Sophomore Jimmy Milgie and senior Jakob Kunzer joined Mollica and Rakowitz to form the Wildcats lineup in the 4×400 relay. Mollica led off the race and was followed by Milgie, Rakowitz and Kunzer on the final three legs. Kunzer had a split of 47.76 on the anchor leg. The quartet took first in the relay. The four sit second on the Big East rankings in the 4×400-meter relay.

“Rakowitz and Molica both ran the hurdles before the relay,” O’Sullivan said. “I think they rallied better and came back on the four by four and did better. Not too bad for those guys.”

The women had some season debuts. Senior Roschell Clayton made her outdoor season debut and tied for sixth place on the national performance list with a height of 1.85 meters in the high jump.

The duo of sophomore Micah Trusty and fifth-year Madison Martinez posted the top two times in the Big East this season in the 800 meters.

Clayton cleared 1.85 meters on her second attempt on Saturday to tie for sixth place on the national performance list this season. 

Clayton is the Big East leader of the year and ranks second on the Wildcats’ all-time outdoor performance list.

First-year Malaika Cunningham matched her personal best from the indoor season with a successful clearance at 1.77 meters in the high jump.

In the track portion, Trusty lowered her personal best in the 800 meters to 2:04.90. Trusty finished third. She currently leads the Big East in the 800 meters. Martinez ran a time of 2:05.11 in Saturday’s race to rank second in the conference and 16th in the East.

In the shot put, Williams became the sixth athlete in school history to surpass 14 meters and recorded a personal best of 14.02 meters on her fifth throw of the day.

The mark is good for third in the Big East this season and sixth on the all-time Villanova performance list. She came in second this past weekend. 

Retter came in fourth in the shot put with a mark of 13.85 meters. She ranks seventh overall in school history and sixth on Villanova’s outdoor performance list.

Fifth-year Jane Livingston and first-year Ajanae Thompson recorded season-best times in the 100-meter hurdles. The duo ranks third and fourth on the Big East performance list for the season. Livingston posted a time of 13.58 in Miami and Thompson followed her with a personal best of 13.84.

At the Penn Invitational, Villanova recorded strong performances by both the men and women. First-year Parker Turner posted times of 10.78 in the 100 meters and 21.94 in the 200 meters to highlight the day’s results, while sophomore Sal Barretta recorded the fifth-best time in the Big East this season in the 400-meter hurdles with a personal best of 56.18.

First-year Tilly O’Connor tallied her best race of the outdoor season in the 800 meters by running a time of 2:14.64. 

Senior Elizabeth Vaughn finished first in the 3000 meters. She lowered her personal best with a time of 10:01.04.

Villanova Track & Field returns to competition again this weekend. The Wildcats will compete in the Larry Ellis Invitational hosted by Princeton University on April 12 and April 13. They will also compete in the Bryan Clay Invitational hosted by Azusa Pacific University on April 12 and April 13.

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