Williamsz and Tiernan to compete for spot in Rio Olympics

Frank Scicchitano

Senior Jordy Williamsz and junior Patrick Tiernan have spent little time “chasing” during their illustrious running careers at Villanova. This weekend, the pair will be “chasing” an Olympic dream as they compete in the Australian National Team trials in Sydney, Australia.

Tiernan will compete in the 5,000 meters on Thursday, the opening day of the trials. Williamsz’s event, the 1,500 meters, will run heats on Friday and conclude with a final on Sunday, the last day of the trials.

Both runners have enjoyed tremendous collegiate success in their respective events.

Tiernan is a two-time Big East Champion and All-Big East performer in the outdoor 5,000 meters. He was a First Team All-American in the event in 2014 where he ran a personal best time of 13:31.25 and became just the fourth Villanova athlete to record a top-eight finish in the event at the NCAA Championships. In 2015, Tiernan returned to the NCAA Championships where he earned Second Team All-American honors with a 10th place finish.

Williamsz is a two-time First Team All-American and two-time Big East Champion in the 1,500 meters. He placed fifth in the event at the 2014 and 2015 NCAA Championships, and his time of 3:40.25 in the 2014 NCAA finals is the best of his college career. Williamsz has also been a part of two Penn Relays Championship relay teams.

Both Tiernan and Williamsz were pivotal parts of Villanova’s back-to-back Big East “triple crowns” (team conference championships in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track). Both runners have each gathered a total of six career All-American honors across the three seasons and combined for a total of 17 Big East Championships since 2013.

In the 5,000-meter race at the trials, Tiernan will be competing against former Villanova distance runner Sam McEntee. McEntee was a Big East Champion in the event for the Wildcats in 2012 and was a six-time All-American during his collegiate career.

Tiernan hails from Toowoomba, Australia and Williamsz is from Melbourne, Australia, both of which are approximately 550 miles from Sydney on the eastern part of the country. When the pair returns to the United States in April, they hope be able to add the title of Olympic Athlete to their storied careers.