Track and field claims third overall in NYC’s Metro Team Challenge

Jacob Pickle

The Villanova men’s and women’s Track & Field teams both enjoyed highly successful and entertaining early season performances throughout the Metro Team Challenge this past Friday afternoon. 

The event, which was held at the historic New York Armory, featured over 20 teams from the region and saw the Wildcats claim a top-three spot in both the men’s and women’s divisions.

The women’s team had a banner day for the Wildcats, claiming an overall team title after capturing first in six separate events. 

Three of the Villanova victories came from the middle distance races, with junior Angel Piccirillo, redshirt freshman Julie Williams and freshman Siofra Cleirigh Buttner topping the fields in the 1000 meter, 3000 meter and 600 meter events respectively. 

Junior Kelsey Margey completed a one-two finish for the Wildcats in the 600 meter, finishing less than a second behind Buttner’s winning time of 1:31.55. 

The remainder of Villanova’s victories of the day came from three spectacular performances in the hurdle, high jump and pole vault competitions. 

Senior Kathleen McPhillips captured first in the pole vault, which ended with the Wildcats claiming the top three spots in the event, after posting a personal best with a successful jump at 3.90 meters. 

Junior Shanice Grant also claimed a victory in the 60 meter hurdles, with senior Emerald Walded following close behind her in second, with a winning time of 8.55. 

Rounding out the group of event winners was junior Katherine Petruzzellis, who tied her own personal best in the high jump with a winning mark of 1.70 meters.

On the men’s side, the Wildcats were able to muster an impressive third place finish overall, despite missing a handful of competitors. 

Villanova claimed first in four events, which included the 600 meters, the mile, the distance medley relay and the high jump. 

Freshman Ishmael Muhammad had an extremely successful collegiate debut, topping the field in the 600 meter event with a top time of 1:18.34, while senior Chris Fitzsimons had a strong second place showing as well. 

In the Mile event, sophomore Harry Warnick claimed first among an extremely competitive field with a final time and personal best of 4:13.41.

A team of upperclassman that included senior Chris O’Sullivan and juniors Rob Denault, Donald Urschel and Jordy Williamsz coasted to a relatively dominant win in the distance medley relay, posting a winning time of 10:06.50. 

Senior Elbert Maxwell claimed another victory for the Wildcats, clearing a height of 2.09 meters to lead the field in the high jump. 

Both the men’s and women’s squads return to action this weekend, Jan. 30-31, as they compete in the Penn State National.