Cross country continues domninant performance

Matt Bolton

Both the men and women’s cross country teams have had three races over the last few weeks. Each ran at the Washington Invitational, the Paul Short Run and most recently at the Princeton Invitational.

The Princeton Invitational for the men resulted in a second straight team title. Villanova seemed to have a plan set for this race that involved running together. It worked as the Wildcats went across the line in order from seventh through 11th. The five scorers finished in an impressive manner out of the 300-runner field, which led to the blowout as no team was within 26 points.

The times for the men in the Princeton Invitational show how close the pack of Wildcats was: Harry Warnick (24:20), Brian Basili (24:20), Sam McEntee (24:20), Rob Denault (24:20) and Jordy Williamsz (24:21). It will be interesting to see if Villanova continues the pack strategy that worked over the weekend.

The Princeton Invitational for the women resulted in a closely contested team win. With 35 teams and over 300 runners competing, Villanova needed a strong performance. Virginia Tech was the only team near Villanova in the points and it finished just five points back. Stephanie Schappert in fifth (21:44), Angel Piccirillo in seventh (21:52) and Siofra Cleirigh Buttner in eighth (21:54) were the major contributors to the team win. 

The men’s cross country team had a great showing at the Washington Invitational, one of the two races they recently ran in. Patrick Tiernan led Villanova with his time of (23:00) and topped the rest of the 96-person field with an impressive margin of victory of 20 seconds. This was the fourth time he won the individual title in a race in nine starts. Having been the top finisher for Villanova in eight consecutive races his young career as a Wildcat can only be described as promising. His strong performance led to him being named the Division I National Athlete of the Week.

Basili (24:00) and Warnick (24:08) finished second and third on the team and 22nd and 28th in the entire field respectively. Their contribution was encouraging as each was able to run their personal best times for an 8,000 meter course to help the team to a seventh place finish. 

The women’s cross-country team also came in seventh at the Washington Invitational. Siofra Cleirigh Buttner was the first Wildcat to cross the finish line in seventeenth overall with a time of (20:54). Piccirillo was right behind finishing second among Wildcats with a time of (20:55) and crossing the line in 19th overall.

On the local front, both teams opted to split their runners up, and those who did not travel to Seattle ran in the Paul Short Run. The women finished in 32nd and the men finished in 13th.  

The five runners who did run for the women were separated by only twenty-six seconds.  Megan Venables finished in 139th (22:02), Katie Fisher came across in 156th (22:10), Erin Jaskot in 178th (22:19), Rebecca Del Rossi crossed the line in 184th (22:21) and Leanne Tucker finished the scoring in 199th (22:28).

The men had a wide-ranged scoring attack at the Paul Short Run. Williamsz paced the team, coming in fifth with McEntee coming in sixth. They both crossed at 23:53 and Denault came soon after in 12th with a time of 23:59. Drake Johnston (25:50) came in 197th and Dusty Solis (26:23) in 283rd to complete the scoring for the men. 

Both teams will race tomorrow in the Haverford Invitational.