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Women’s and Men’s Track Gear Up for Penn Relays

Courtesy of Villanova Athletics
Senior Andrew Grinnell recorded a personal best mark in the javelin on April 20 at the Virginia Challenge. The Wildcats look ahead to the Penn Relays, which will start on Friday, April 25 and conclude on Sunday, April 27.

This past weekend was an event-heavy weekend for Villanova’s track and field team. Throws set new records and distance runners set new personal bests. It was a successful weekend to set up for the Penn Relays.

The highlights of the weekend took place across the Virginia Challenge in Charlottesville, Virginia and the Wake Forest Invitational in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Junior Sadie Sigfstead recorded the fastest outdoor time of her career in the 5000 meters this past weekend. Sigfstead finished the race in 15:59.02 to record the second-fastest time of her career. She moved into seventh place on Villanova’s all-time outdoor performance list.

Sigfstead put herself into the 27th on the East Region descending order list. It is enough to qualify for regionals. It is the third time in her career that she has broken 16 minutes in the 5000 meters, all three times this year.

“We were kind of getting her to try in a good race,” head coach Gina Proaccio said. “She was taken down [to North Carolina] to run to get a regional qualifier. She did.” 

Sigfstead ran at a personal best pace through the first 3000 meters when her split was 9:17.14. Sigfstead wound up 11th overall with a time that put her third in the Big East this season.

First-year Tilly O’Connor recorded a personal best time in the 1500 meters for the second straight week. O’Connor recorded a seventh-place finish.

“She’s really doing well and consistently getting better each week,” Proaccio said. “That’s kind of what you want to see in a freshman and now she’s got a couple of weeks to train and get ready for Big East [Regionals]. We are looking forward to seeing some more good stuff from her there.”

O’Connor finished with a time of 4:26.00 in the fastest heat of the night. 

Sophomore sprinter Micah Trusty posted a time of 56.12 in the 400 meters and classmate Myonica Jackson tallied a time of 57.82. Earlier in the afternoon Lore Olakunle recorded a season best time of 12.65 in the preliminary heats of the 100 meters. 

Fifth-year thrower Adria Retter and junior Faith Haught each threw in the discus. Retter finished with a mark of 47.36 meters and Haught recorded a throw of 45.23 meters. Senior javelin thrower Teresa Rotolo registered a mark of 32.29 meters to conclude the first day of competition.

Graduate student Alex Payne registered a distance of 53.56 meters in the hammer throw to move up to third in the Big East this season. Payne’s throw is the seventh-longest in the Villanova record book and moved her up from sixth to fourth overall on the Wildcats all-time performance list.

First-year Olivia Allen took over the Big East lead in the 400-meter hurdles with a personal best time of 1:00.78. Her time puts her in 10th place in school history.

Ajanae Thompson and Jane Livingston ran personal best times in the 200 meters. Thompson crossed the finish line in 24.78 and Livingston registered a time of 24.91, marking the first time in their careers that either runner broke 25 seconds.

Livingston had been the runner-up in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.68 and Thompson finished with a time of 14.18.

Senior high jumper Roschell Clayton took first place with a clearance of 1.80 meters. First-year Malaika Cunningham recorded a mark of 1.67 meters on the day.

Junior thrower Tristan Bolinsky and senior long jumper Justin Miller moved up on Villanova’s all-time performance lists in their respective events. Bolinsky threw for 55.58 meters in the hammer. His new throw moves him four spots from eighth place into fourth place in school history and fourth in the Big East this season.

In the long jump, Miller’s fifth jump of the day was a new personal best of 7.36 meters to finish in fifth place out of 24 competitors. Miller’s mark puts him third in the Big East this season.

The trio of freshman Parker Turner, senior Jakob Kunzer and sophomore Amiri Prescod ran the 200 meters. Turner recorded a personal best of 21.45, followed by Kunzer who lowered his PR to 21.55 and Prescod with a time of 21.70. Those times rank 6-7-11 in the Big East this year.

Senior Andrew Grinnell recorded a personal best mark in the javelin. It was Grinnell’s first competition since last year’s NCAA East Preliminary. Grinnell threw for 64.85 meters. He had the longest throw of his career on his first attempt of the day. Grinnell finished fifth out of 25 competitors.

Senior sprinter Jakob Kunzer and junior thrower Tristan Bolinsky notched season-best marks in their respective events. Kunzer tallied a time of 48.69 in the 400 meters and finished ahead of sophomore Jimmy Milgie (49.21).

Villanova will prepare for the highly anticipated Penn Relays this weekend. The Relays will take place on April 25, April 26 and April 27.

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