Oct. 31, 1997
Tollefson Captures Big East Individual Crown
BRONX, N.Y. - Villanova University junior Carrie Tollefson captured the Big East Conference individual crown and the Wildcat men's and women's cross country squads each placed sixth at the league Championships, held at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, N.Y., on Oct. 31, 1997.
Tollefson, a native of Dawson, Minn., covered the course in 16:54, the second-fastest run of all time at Van Cortlandt. Out in front immediately and never without the lead throughout the race, Tollefson's time is second only to former Villanovan Vicki Huber, who holds the collegiate course record (16:35, 1989). Tollefson becomes the sixth Villanova woman to win the Big East individual title, joining Mary Ellen McGowan (1984), Huber (1986, 87, 89), Nnenna Lynch (1990), Sonia O'Sullivan (1991), and Carole Zajac (1992).
In one of the more exciting match-ups of the day, Villanova's Carmen Douma (So., Cambridge, Ontario), edged Georgetown's Kate Landau for the runner-up spot. Douma, who pulled ahead of Landau on the last stretch, finished in 17:12, the 10th-fastest time ever at Van Cortlandt Park.
Also running extremely well for head coach John Marshall was Tamieka Grizzle (So., Bronx, N.Y.), who placed 20th overall in 18:20. Lony'e Johnson (So., Wilmington, Del.), Jackie Gruters (Jr., Sarasota, Fla.), and Kate Etter (So., Maple Glen, Pa.) rounded out the Villanova competitors.
Marshall was without the services of two of his top five runners, Kristine Jost (Jr., Kent Island, Md.) and Geraldine McCarthy (Fr., Listowel, Ireland). Jost was not able to compete due to illness, while McCarthy suffered a stress fracture and will most likely miss the remainder of the cross country season.
On the men's side, Dean Smith (So., Baltimore, Md.) put in an extremely strong showing with a sixth-place run in 25:09 to turn in the Wildcats' No. 1 finish. Also earning All-Big East Conference honors for associate head coach Jim Tuppeny was Scott Tantino (So., North Wales, Pa.), who covered the course in 25:29 for a 13th-place finish. Coulby Dunn (Jr., Greentown, Pa.) placed 15th in the individual competition with a strong run of 25:34.
Rounding out the scoring for the Wildcats was Brock Butler (Jr., West Chester, Pa.), who placed 40th in 26:22, and Rich Morris (Sr., Jackson, N.J.), who finished 62nd in his first cross country race of the season.
Providence won the women's team competition, garnering 52 points and earning three top 10 individual finishers. Villanova finished with 167 team points. Notre Dame captured the men's Big East title with 50 points and three top 10 individual finishers. The Wildcat men tallied 128 points.
Big East Conference Championships
Women's Team Results
1. Providence 52; 2. Georgetown 58; 3. Boston College 75; 4. Notre Dame 126; 5. West Virginia 137; 6. Villanova 167; 7. Rutgers 197; 8. Syracuse 247; 9. Miami 248; 10. Connecticut 271; 11. St. John's 276; 12. Pittsburgh 298; 13. Seton Hall 318.
Men's Team Results